By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
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November 21, 2012
Last updated on 11/23/12.
Rob Anderson was kind enough to take DefenseReview (DR) through the U.S. Palm Draco Hardened Backpack (HBP tactical pack)/Multi-Platform Attack Rack (MPAR) tactical armor plate carrier (body armor) system recently at HALO Counter-Terrorism Summit 2012. The connective tissue of the system is the "horse collar system", officially called the Enhanced Harness System (EHS) collar, which acts as an interface connecting the tactical armor carrier in the front to the pack, creating the “Agile Combat System” (ACS). Both the pack and the carrier hold hard armor plates (Level III or Level IV anti-rifle plates), so the pack becomes the rear protective element of the carrier.
The US Palm Draco HBP sports a purpose-built internal pocket designed to hold the rear hard armor plate at the top of the pack to protect the wearer's vital organs (heart, lungs, etc.). The MPAR tactical armor carrier panel version that we saw featured a kangaroo pouch for mounting rifle mag pouches (5.56mm, 7.62mm NATO, or even .50 BMG Barrett mags, potentially) internally.
All U.S. Palm packs are jumpable with quick-releases, and have all been jumped. The Draco features a mini-vis panel the operator can deploy for identification from the air or ground at a distance, which can not only help identify the operator, but also help prevent blue-on-blue/green-on-green engagements. The Draco/MPAR's quick-release system can be used to release the pack with mini-vis panel and toss the pack on the ground with the panel up to mark a location for aircraft. The mini-vis panel incorporates a 1×1" IR (Infrared) square panel for identification for night ops.
The Draco HBP tactical pack/armor carrier will hold a 17.3" laptop computer, by the way.
U.S. Palm also has lo-pro (low-profile) versions of the Draco/MPAR system for operators that have to blend with the locals. One new pack is called the Gryphon. There's also a 3-day version of the pack and tunnel rat pack coming out soon.
The following information comes from the SGC USA and U.S Palm websites:
The Draco HBP [Hardened Back Pack] is a small assault pack with a dedicated internal pocket designed to hold ballistic armor. This unique design allows the armor [soft, hard, or in-conjunction] to ride in the correct position on the user’s back. The Draco HBP also accommodates a hydration bladder. Given the ample MOLLE panels [external 7 rows x 6 columns and internal 6 rows x 6 columns] you can adapt the Draco HBP to any mission need. The Draco HBP is also fully jumpable and is 100% US Made/Berry Compliant.
Draco HBP Features:
– Small assault pack, integrated into our Desert Tracker, MPAR systems
– Integrated pocket to hold rifle plate armor (or Level 3A soft armor panel, both sold separately)
– Hydration pocket
– Internal and external molle panels
– Fully jumpable
– 1200 cubic inches
– 1000d Cordura construction
– Dimension (HxWxD); 17”x12”x6”
– Available in Ranger Green(RG), Coyote Brown(CB), Black(BLK), and Multicam(MC)
The Multi-Platform Attack Rack can accommodate up to (5) 30rd M4 magazines OR up to (5) 20rd .308 magazines OR any other combination of magazines and accessories you may need with a 2×14 MOLLE attachment spanning the exterior. There are (2) adjustable flap magazine/utility tool/mini smoke pouches as well. The large zippered main pouch can accommodate extra magazines or other larger pieces of gear. Side-top seams split for a holster, radio pouch, or knife carry. The bottom of the carrier allows access to the custom level IIIA soft armor panel (sold separately, MSRP of $199). MOLLE attachments for a groin protector or dump pouch are located on the rear of carrier. Additional accessories available: Holster insert for side-top split seam (black or khaki) Medical and Cargo pouches (Black, Multicam, OD, Ranger Green, Khaki & Coyote) Custom Level IIIA Soft Armor Insert
– 1in adjustable waist strap w/ dual side releases
– 2in QD shoulder straps w/
– MOLLE rows for knife pouch or COM cable routing
– Materials: 500d Cordura, YKK Zippers
– Colors: Black, Multicam, OD, Ranger Green, Khaki, & Coyote
– MSRP: $224.99 or $399.99 with IIIA Armor"
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