by David Crane
david at defensereview.com
Defense Review has confirmed it. Just as we expected, Pinnacle Armor SOV-2000 (Level III/III+) and SOV-3000 (Level IV) Dragon Skin body armor
appears to be significantly superior in every combat-relavant way to U.S. Army PEO Soldier’s
and U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center (NSC)
/Soldier Systems Center’s
Interceptor Body Armor, which is comprised of the following components: USMC Interceptor Multi-threat Body Armor System Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) Level III plate
or Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert (ESAPI) Level IV plate, and the USMC Interceptor Multi-threat Body Armor System Outer Tactical Vest (OTV)
DefRev recently got a chance to see the SAPI and ESAPI specifications (the actual specs) , and all relevant Level III and unclassified Level IV V50 and V0 data on Pinnacle Armor Inc.’s SOV/Dragon Skin body armor from three different facilities: H.P. White Laboratory, Inc. (Level III Tests), United States Test Laboratory a.k.a. USTL (Level III and Level IV tests), and U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center a.k.a. ATC (Level III and Level IV tests). This is the actual data from the range shoots. We weren’t allowed to see the true weight of the system, system configuration (or how the armor is made), as this information is classified), but we were able to view projectile types and velocities, and they far exceeded the respective SAPI and ESAPI specs. The data that we saw on Pinnacle Armor SOV-2000 (Level III/III+) and SOV-3000 (Level IV) Dragon Skin armor surpassed the SAPI and ESAPI specs by an impressively large margin.
Not only that, but we were also able to see comparitive graphical data of SOV-2000 Dragon Skin
(Level III/III+) vs. SAPI plate and SOV-3000 Dragon Skin (Level IV) vs. ESAPI plate, and Dragon Skin’s performance was vastly superior against each type of impacting round, including being able to…
stop many more repeat hits from all rounds used.
In Level III, we saw V50 and V0 data on the M80 Ball (7.62x51mm), M193 (5.56x45mm), and 7.62x39mm Ball Round
In Level IV, we saw V50 and V0 data on the M855 (5.56x45mm), PS Ball (7.62x39mm), LPS (7.62mmx54R),B32 (7.62mmx54R) Armor-Piercing Incendiary round (API), APM2, and BZ/BS API (7.62x39mm Armor-Piercing Incendiary round)
There’s simply no way anyone who has seen the data that we saw could come to any other conclusion other than Dragon Skin is vastly superior to Interceptor Body Armor. It’s not even close.
The data proves that in Level III/III+ (SOV-2000) and Level IV (SOV-3000) versions, Dragon skin
surpases SAPI and ESAPI performance levels in 9 different areas, by huge margins:
– Ballistic Performance
– Multiple Repeat Hit Capability
– Flexibility with the Ability to add coverage
– Substantially reduced backface deformation (less trauma to the body)
– Ergonomic capabilities (mission specific, concealed, female rifle defeating capabilities)
– Better edge hit capability
And here’s the kicker: the soft armor (ballistic fiber) portion of SOV/Dragon Skin
is NIJ Level IIIA-certified, Interceptor’s soft armor component is not, and that’s a fact. In the interests of saving weight or cost (or both), U.S. Army PEO Soldier and U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center/Soldier Systems Center have apparently elected not to meet NIJ Level IIIA standards for their soft armor component.
Getting back to the hard armor ballistic test data we viewed with our own eyes, the data proves that Dragon Skin’s anti-ballistic performance far exceeds the performance levels required to pass NIJ Level III and NIJ Level IV standards. The NIJ standard is a civilian standard that is significantly below the military standard (Secretary of Defense standards), due to bullet type limitations such as API.
Defense Review can’t provide the V50 and V0 velocities or information on the number of impacts the armor can handle to the public. Disclosure of this information would violate OPSEC (operational security) for the military and PSC/PMC operators currently wearing Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon skin in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defense Review also viewed a letter from ATC containing information that proves that SOV/Dragon Skin did NOT fail any U.S. Air Force test or requirement, as has been stated by certain parties in the U.S. Army. We viewed the relevant information ourselves.
Bottom line is, all relevant ballistic test data is available for viewing and validation (just like we viewed and validated it), exactly as Pinnacle Armor
has offered in their written response to the SOUM and the Pentagon Brief by General Sorenson. Defense Review has validated this ourselves by visiting Pinnacle Armor and carefully scrutinizing all of the data with our own eyes. That data covered a 9 year timeline and validates Pinnacle’s statements in their written response.
The only other possibility (and this would be giving the total benefit of the doubt to the Army), would be that civilian "experts" like Karl Masters, Steve Pinter, James Zheng, Janet Ward and others at U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center/Soldier Systems Center and PEO Soldier providing information to the green suiters (Army officers) are the ones responsible for the U.S. Army receiving inaccurate information about SOV/Dragon Skin’s true performance capabilities (unconfirmed/unverified).
By the way, these civilians in the system seem to have built quite a little empire/fiefdom for themselves over the years. This is due to the fact that the military has (for years) outsourced these types of positions at Natick and PEO to such civilians, instead of maintaining them within the military. Unlike military personnel, it would appear that these civilians do not have the same level of oversight or controls on them to maintain the typical checks and balances necessary to ensure true and unbiased evaluation of performance-based products (like SOV/Dragon Skin, for instance) for the protection of America’s soldiers.
So, the aforementioned negative statements by the aforementioned individuals (all U.S. Army personnel) has to come under one, several, or all of the following categories: ignorance, outright lies, deliberate deception, or out-of-control/off-the reservation civilian personnel inside U.S. Army Natick and PEO Soldier.
to read Pinnacle Armor CEO Murray Neal’s response to the U.S. Army’s "Safety-of-Use Message" (SOUM) and Major General Jeffrey Sorenson’s news briefing.
to read the PDF version
of Murray Neal’s/Pinnacle Armor’s response to the SOUM and Major General Jeffrey Sorenson.
Video Clips and Previous Articles on Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon Skin Body Armor:
Right-click on the links below and then click on "Save Target As" (if using Microsoft Internet Explorer browser) or "Save Link As" (if using Mozilla Firefox browser) to download and view the video clips of live-fire testing of Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon Skin body armor vs. 7.62x39mm FMJ military ball ammo and 9mm FMJ military ball ammo (multiple rounds of each fired at the vest on full-auto) below:
Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon Skin Outdoor Shooting Test (Standard Range View) on 1/27/06
— 40 rounds of 7.62x39mm FMJ military ball ammo fired at 20 feet from AKM/AK-47-variant rifle, and 150 rounds of 9mm FMJ military ball ammo fired at 10 feet from HK MP5 subgun.
on the links below and then click on "Save Target As
" (if using Microsoft Internet Explorer browser) or "Save Link As
" (if using Mozilla Firefox browser) to download and view the following Real Player and Windows Media format video clips of Pinnacle Armor SOV-1000 vs. multiple rounds of 7.62x51mm/.308 Win M80 ball FMJ ammo:
Real Player version
(SOV-1000 Dragon Skin vs. multiple rounds of 7.62x51mm/.308 Win. M80 ball ammo)
Windows Media Version (SOV-1000 Dragon Skin vs. multiple rounds of M80 ball 7.62x51mm/.308 Win. FMJ ammo)
DefRev Sees Test Data: Dragon Skin Hands-Down Superior to Army’s Interceptor The following are links to previous DefRev articles on the ongoing Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon Skin vs. Interceptor Body Armor situation (in order from most recent to least recent):
The following are links to previous DefRev Articles on performance and technical aspects of Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon Skin body armor (most recent to least recent):
by David Crane