by David Crane
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Tactical kneepads (or, knee pads) and elbow pads are now required gear for military Special Operations (SPECOPS) units and law enforcement (LE) SWAT teams. A company called KP Industries has been fulfilling this requirement quite well, for awhile, now. In fact, it could be argued that KP Industries
has taken tactical elbow pads and knee pads (kneepads) to their ultimate conclusion with their Tactical Ultra Flex III
tactical knee pad and Armor-Pro Tactical Elbow Pad
change all that. Together, they’ve created a really interesting tactical kneepad (tactical knee pad)/knee guard and elbow pad/elbow guard designed specifically to protect against ballistic threats like shrapnel and IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blasts. According to a CPC representative, they will also protect the wearer against edged weapon attacks (knife attacks). CPC showed DefenseReview this product at their booth at IACP 2005 Miami.
Chuck Knox, President/CEO of KP Industries
, provided DefenseReview with the background on the project over the phone and through email. Mr. Knox communicated the following to DefRev via email: "The origional call for a shrapnel resistant leg or knee protection system came to KP through Matt Bevan at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab
. Matt talked to Kurt Wuerful at K&E Logistics and Services
, who because of his knowledge of existing products, realized that the KneePro Ultra Flex pads offered the best platform for this technology. Kurt was familiar with Rick Karst at CPC, and suggested that we contact CPC regarding using their new aramid fiber technology to make the shells for the project. We have begun testing this combination of proprietory products to get the Army what they have been asking for."
According to Richard Karst, CPC’s Manager of "Personnel Armour Sales", the pads are comprised of aramid fibers and fiberglass-like cross fibers that are sandwiched within a special resin to create a proprietary composite blend. The KP Industries/CPC kneepads weigh approx. .325 kilos. Defense Review doesn’t yet have weight specs on the elbow pads.
It’s DefenseReview’s opinion that the KP Industries
kneepads and elbow pads deserve a look by Mil/LE Spec-Operators and general infantry personnel.
By the way, CPC
also makes NIJ Level III (approx. 2 lbs) and NIJ Level IV (approx. 2.75 lbs) side protection plates (pictured below).