SFTT/DefenseWatch has published a Pinnacle Armor press release regarding the recent partial/unfinished testing of Dragon Skin scalar flexible hard armor system (body armor) that was conducted by U.S. Army Project Manager Soldier Equipment (PM SEQ). Karl Masters and James Zheng, both out of U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center/Natick Soldier Systems Center/PEO Soldier (Program Executive Office Soldier), were the actual testers for the U.S. Army/DoD (Department of Defense).
The following is the Pinnacle Armor statement/press release, in its entirety:…
"There has been a lot said about the latest test of Pinnacle Armor’s Dragon Skin® body armor by the Army in official and unofficial statements. Now their story is we didn’t meet a specification.
We would like to let you in on the truth about the testing. The Dragon Skin® body armor was supposed to be tested to the ESAPI (current level 4 system) test protocol and procedures as the Army agreed to, unfortunately less then one third of the thirty vests were tested. This does not constitute a completed First Article Test.
During the period of 17-19 May 2006, the Army’s Project Manager Soldier Equipment (PM SEQ) conducted First Article Testing of Pinnacle Armor’s Dragon Skin® Full Torso Wrap coverage level 4 body armor system at HP White Laboratory as requested by Brigadier General Moran (he has since been forced to retire). After the first round was fired on the 17th the test director Karl Masters and technical liaison James Zheng argued openly and loudly about the placement of the shots and what constituted an edge for flexible armor systems. At this point Karl Masters threw down his paperwork and stormed off as he told James Zheng "You represent the government you select the shots and you will be responsible"! Next, Karl and James threw x-rays of our body armor at us and claimed that we didn’t know how to design a flexible armor system. When we asked how James Zheng came to that conclusion James said “look at the spacing of the discs, they are not evenly spaced”? We showed him that when he picked up the vest to place it on the x-ray table he changed the spacing of some of the rows of discs and that this is what is supposed to happen in flexible systems! You could see the light come on over his head, no wonder they can’t seem to design anything better than what they have. Again, deviation from the ESAPI test protocols and procedures took place by the selection of shot placements of APM2 rounds around the ceramics in non-rifle defeating areas (where there was an adhesive anomaly. James Zheng attempted to induce failure with selective placement of shots at the center and edge of individually isolated discs on the system and the system did not fail. This set James Zheng off on a tirade saying "it’s not supposed to do that" and throwing his arms in the air and yelling. This does not sound like fair and unbiased testing to us.
The testing was stopped by the Army at 12:37 pm on the 19th, Karl Masters and James Zheng had just shot one of our Medium sized vest with 12 rounds of APM2 (level 4) with complete stops on all rounds with a back face trauma average of 22.5mm for this vest and 23mm for all the vests tested, which is a 50% reduction in trauma over the current system. Imagine how many more lives could have been saved if the Dragon Skin® body armor system was available to our troops today. When was the last time the Army dared to shoot 12 rounds of M2AP (level 4) into any Interceptor IBA with ESAPI plates? The reason Karl Masters, Col. John Norwood (being forced to retire early) and James Zheng gave for stopping the testing early on the 19th was as quoted by Karl Masters: "I’m completely baffled by this flexible technology and I’m not going to send another round down range until I can understand how a flexible system works"! This is the same group that falsely claimed to have paid Pinnacle Armor nearly a million dollars to develop our Dragon Skin® system as Major General Sorenson said on CNN, 31 March 2006!
All of the Government agencies that use our Dragon Skin® body armor have all tested the system and found it to be far superior to the current Army system. We are still looking forward to working with the Department of Defense to conduct fair and unbiased testing to prove that our Dragon Skin® system is far superior to any other system."