By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
Most of the photos contained in this article were taken by DefenseReview.com, and are copyrighted. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these photos. The photos were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability). Three of the photos contained in this article (IFLBS armor carrier being worn) were supplied to us by Archangel Armor, and they own the copyright on those photos.
July 13, 2011
Last updated on 7/13/11.
DefenseReview (DR) got to photograph the Archangel Armor Internal Frame Load-Bearing System (IFLBS) Version 5 tactical armor plate carrier system/tactical vest at the 2011 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC 2011), and the system looked pretty good. The purpose of the IFLBS is give the operator/soldier a tactical body armor system that enables him to either carry the same amount of weight more easily (40%+ easier), or 40%+ more weight just as easily, by better distributing the load on the human skeleton via an internal frame/structural support system. With the Archangel Armor IFLBS, some load distribution goes to the hips and legs, so not all of the weight is supported by the wearer’s shoulders and back.
The Archangel Armor IFLBS tactical armor carrier/load-bearing vest system is very interesting, and anything that enhances the soldier’s mobility and performance is a good thing.
Defense Review hasn’t yet run an IFLBS test sample through a tactical shooting course or on a hiking trip, so we don’t yet know how it stacks up against our current favorite rig, the Maniple-I Tactical Armor Carrier system made by Hard Point Equipment (formerly Personal Protective Systems, or “P2 Systems“). The Hard Point Maniple-I carrier is extremely comfortable and well-designed, with the best attachment/detachment system DR has experienced to date.
But, we’ve got open minds over here, and look forward to running a Version 5 Archangel IFLBS tactical armor rig (or whatever version rig is available by then) when we can get our hands on one.
Getting back to SOFIC, though, we didn’t try the rig on during the photo session because Archangel’s head honcho Paul Carter wasn’t there to walk and talk us through it. We’d planned to come back and donn it with him there, but we got side-tracked. Regardless, you really have to run a load-bearing tactical vest through a shooting course and/or on a hiking trip to really evaluate it properly. It also helps if you can run it side-by-side with a more traditional type system.
Interestingly, Hard Point has a new Integra-Belt battle belt with a built in load-bearing system of its own. The prototype belt we handled at SHOT Show 2011 utilized a simple-yet-innovatively-designed integral plastic stay/support system to partially support the weight of the armor carrier, but the design has advanced/evolved since then, so we don’t know what the improved/upgraded Hard Point Integra-Belt battle belt looks like.
DefenseReview would also like to run one of the Mayflower R&C (Mayflower Research & Consulting) tactical armor carriers, at some point, preferably with Velocity Systems Phalanx VS-PBZ multi-hit ceramic hard armor plates.
The following information comes from the Archangel Armor Internal Frame Load-Bearing System (IFLBS) Version 5 tactical armor carrier system data sheet:
Each modular piece can be added or removed as needed. to re-configure and personalize the tactical load for any mission.
Increased Mobility and Range of Motion
The center of gravity is lower to the lumbar area. The weight of the tactical load is lifted off the shoulders eliminating spinal loading. There is no resistance or restriction in the entire range of motion in any tactical situation.
Decreased Risk of Chronic Back Injury
The system is designed to mitigate and interfere with acute and chronic injury patterns, by reducing spinal loading and increasing spinal support.
The device translates from a plate carrier to an outer tactical unit allowing the adaptation of multiple levels of protection according to a wide range of ballistic threats.
Because the load is not carried on the shoulders and neck, the muscles will retain their strength for longer. Evaluations have shown a reduction in a rate of fatigue greater than 40%.
Donning and Doffing
Rapid don and doff that requires seconds.
The core frame telescopes to easily fit 5th -95th percentile of male and female body types. The frame design can be configured for a personalized fit.
The frame and support stand off of the body to allow free airflow through the device.
Easy to Access (Medical)
Using the donning and doffing points on either side, a field medic can access the wearers entire front and flank with only partial disassembly of the equipment. Integral harness points allow rapid ease of evacuation.
The Archangel System distributes the weight to maximize the potential of the operator.
The IFLBS will have an immediate and large scale impact on ANY user of tactical armor. It will allow an optimal level of performance for an increased period of time, greatly impacting mission success and survivability.”
Company Contact Info:
455 Ramsey Street, Suite 214
Fayetteville, NC 28301
Email Sales: [email protected]
Email Info: [email protected]
Website 1: http://www.archangelarmor.net
Website 2: http://www.archangelarmor.com
CAGE CODE 55YP4
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