By David Crane
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September 5, 2013
Renegade Armor/FirstSpear has designed and developed an interesting maritime tactical armor plate carrier called the Maritime Assault Plate Carrier System (MAPCS) using FirstSpear Maritime Technology that would appear to be ideally suited to VBSS (Visit, Board, Search and Seizure), GOPLATS (Gas and Oil PLATformS) and anti-piracy operations, but also useful for any/all Special Operations or general combat operations in and around maritime environments. The Renegade Armor/FirstSpear Maritime Assault Plate Carrier System utilizes trailor board outside, neoprene inside, and a floatation cumberbund. The cumberbund utilizes the FirstSpear Tubes technology fast-attach/quick-detach (QD) system. First Spear showed DR the whole system at SHOT Show 2013.
Renegade Armor/First Spear 5.56mm "Rifle Magazine Pocket" mag pouches can be attached to the First Spear 6/12 Pocket Attachment System "non-MOLLE" MOLLE webbing using the new First Spear 6/9 Modular Pocket Technology attachment tab system, essentially the next step in weight cutting technology beyond FirstSpear 6/12 Modular Pocket Technology, in order to cut as much weight was possible.
The FirstSpear Rifle Magazine Pockets themselves come in various flavors, including both "speed reload"/"Ranger" format with shock cord and speed tab and the more tradtional large webbing flap. First Spear even has a SureFire Magazine Pocket Triple 6/9 mag pouch designed to hold three SureFire MAG5-60 HCM (High Capacity Magazine) quad-stack (4×2 config) 60-round/shot mags.
The FirstSpear Alligator Rapid Access System also looks interesting, since the company claims that it provides fast access to flash-bang, smoke or fragmentation grenades while also providing "high security"/retention.
The following information comes directly from the FirstSpear website:
A complete kit for utilization of a Ballistic Armor Plate Carrier in an Operational Maritime Profile
Contains a 500D Nylon backed Plate Carrier with sized Inflatable Floatation Cummerbund, a 2" Belly Band and Buoyancy Compensation Inserts. With highly water-resistant, lightweight materials, adjustment and comfort, this system offers full flexibility and enhanced safety for operations in a Maritime environment. It is sized to fit plates in either the "Swimmer" or ESAPI/SPEAR cuts. Buoyancy Compensation Inserts help maintain a slightly neutral capability while transporting a basic load of equipment. Both wings of the Maritime Assault Plate Carrier's Front Panel have pockets with adjustable tie downs that can hold radios similar to the size and shape of the AN/PRC-148 (MBITR) or AN/PRC-152 (MBHH) and can even be adjusted to fit the 60 Round Surefire M4 Magazine. Utilizing the latest in FirstSpear™ technologies, including the 6/12™ pocket attachment system and TUBES™, this is a state of the art capability designed to support Maritime Assault Operations.
FirstSpear™ does not produce or claim to provide PFD’s (personal flotation devices) or life saving devices. We provide the best 'Tactical Aids to Flotation'."
"New Technologies FirstSpear™ Tubes™
FirstSpear™ is in the business of providing innovative solutions to long unanswered challenges. Our Tubes™ technology reaffirms that position. The common closure method for most Armor Carriers on the market today is to join the cummerbund in the front with hook & loop fasteners like Velcro®. This presents many performance failures. The hook & loop adds weight and bulk; is noisy and wears out quickly; and retains water, mud and snow. From a safety standpoint the hook and loop closure flap allows for cummerbund protection accessories like side plates and inflatable floatation to shift position and misalign from where they should be to provide maximum performance. The common release mechanisms found in most releasable vests typically utilize a variety of cables, routed through a complex maze of channels that when assembled correctly, are clumsy, heavy, awkward and difficult to reassemble. When assembled incorrectly, the results can be catastrophic.
FirstSpear™ Tubes™ solve all these challenges. Quick to close and even quicker to doff, Tubes™ are manufactured from lightweight high-performance polymers that exceed the strength of other molded fasteners currently used on Operational equipment. Molded in signature suppressive colors and with a variety of choices for activation, this closure system can be rapidly deployed and completely reassembled in SECONDS.
Let FirstSpear™ show you how Tubes™ technology will improve performance, enhance mission functionality, reduce weight and allow you to ditch the cable.
FirstSpear™ 6/12™ Pocket Attachment System
• Up to 50% reduction in weight & significantly less bulk
• Backward compatible with standard MOLLE/PALS
• Forward compatible with FirstSpear’s™ ultra-lightweight 6/12™ pockets
• Enhanced cable management
Weight! There are several philosophies on dealing with weight as it applies to load carriage. Some development has occurred in lightweight materials, but these tend to sacrifice performance. Other developments have taken place in “load transfer” by shifting weight around, but they reduce flexibility while increasing heat retention, bulk and even overall load. FirstSpear™ has taken a different approach. We listened to the Users and decided to eliminate the weight and sacrifice nothing. In the design assessment of current pouch attachment systems, FirstSpear™ recognized that the major weight parasite on both the platforms and the attaching pockets is the yards of bulk nylon, snaps and polymer stiffener. The FirstSpear™ 6/12™ technology eliminates these components and achieves a 20%-40% reduction in weight per standard Assaulter configuration when compared to current pocket attachment systems. The FirstSpear™ team invested more than a year developing and testing the FirstSpear™ 6/12™ Pocket Attachment System. It utilizes state of the art fabric technologies to deliver a completely modular system, compatible with standard MOLLE pockets. From adhesive heat-set backing to laser cut precision attachment points, the 6/12™ system is a completely new, design-engineered solution that meets the need for modular, lightweight load-carriage platforms and pockets. Additionally, 6/12™ provides greater fabric flexibility on unarmored platforms and tighter mounting of pockets to create a cleaner silhouette that aides in enhanced signature management and mobility. The 6/12™ platform face is completely slick when pockets are removed and allows for easy management of communications cables and wires.
Don’t transfer the weight, get rid of it.
FirstSpear™ 6/12™ Modular Pocket Technology
Modular Pockets Compatible with FirstSpear™ 6/12™ Platforms Weight reduction is not just a buzz phrase at FirstSpear™ – it is an ethos demonstrated by the 6/12™ pocket line. Utilizing these pockets on FirstSpear™ 6/12™ platforms allows the wearer to achieve a weight reduction of over 40% without sacrificing performance. By removing the heavy nylon webbing, polymer reinforcement and metal snaps of the previous system, not only is weight reduced, but the overall profile of the pocket on the platform is significantly condensed as well, allowing improved signature management in all visual, IR and thermal spectrums.
FirstSpear™ 6/9™ Modular Pocket Technology
FirstSpear™ Maritime Technology
Hostile Environments involve more than just gunfire. Other factors will directly impact our User’s ability to survive and successfully complete their missions. Among one of the most demanding and challenging an Operator can face is the Maritime Environment. In addition to armed adversaries, drowning & hypothermia can be every bit as much of a threat to personal safety.
Fortunately, FirstSpear™ is all about a challenge!
Making use of several decades of acquired Operational experience in Maritime Operations, FirstSpear™ has looked at the needs and mission requirements from multiple angles to offer true Maritime integrated capabilities.
If your mission is taking you back to or beyond the surf zone, check out FirstSpear™ because we never left it.
FirstSpear™ Alligator Rapid Access System
Immediate access, high security, no bulk, and zero noise. With one swift pull of a gloved, mitted or naked hand, the FS Alligator Rapid Access System gives you immediate access to flash-bang, smoke or fragmentation grenades. The Alligator can be removed and replaced with a 1” surface-mounted side release buckle, giving you one pocket with multiple options for access and security. Since the Alligator is flexible and conformable, you no longer have large, bulky protrusions of your equipment, no plastic to break, and you can remain streamlined for entry into narrow access areas."
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