Don’t Buy Dragon Skin: PEO Soldier

Don’t Buy Dragon Skin: PEO Soldier

The mother of a Marine called Army Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller Monday morning to ask why the Army wouldn’t provide her son with Dragon Skin body armor.

She “knew” it was better than the equipment provided by the Army and Marines so she bought it for her son out of her own pocket.

Fuller was straight with her: “Guess what. Dragonskin doesn’t work.”


This and other calls led him to tell me he had one message for the troops and their parents: Don’t Buy Dragon Skin. PEO Soldier has tested Dragon Skin and it just doesn’t stop bullets, he said. The problem is simple. “Somewhere out there is the perception that we are holding something back, that we have something hidden out back. No. We are providing them with the very best,” Fuller said.

Body armor, what Fuller calls the third rail of Army equipment for its political sensitivity, isn’t subject to the usual Pentagon processes since every parent watches what their son or daughter wears and has an opinion about how effective the armor is.

In addition to the testing that went into the current generation of body armor, PEO Soldier is in the early stages of developing the next generation of body armor — X-SAPI. The main plate will probably weigh about 12 pounds. The weight of the side inserts isn’t known yet.

Fuller said the current armor is more than adequate but the Army wants to get ahead of the threat curve and so is working on the new armor.

For those who may not remember, there has been ample discussion about whether the current Interceptor armor is as good as the Army claims. The DoD Inspector General issued a report in late January questioning some of the testing performed on the armor. Although the Army and the Operational Test and Evaluation folks disagree with the IG’s findings, the service recalled 16,000 sets of body armor.

Join the Conversation

Hey Mom,
Why are you calling the Army about a Marine? And you talk to an Army general who does not know what hed is talking about or is lying when he tells you Dragonskin does not work? How does he know? He has no proof and he knows it.
Steel plates are being used to stop bullets and are placed BEHIND the alleged ‘adequate’ ceramic plates.
The Army and DOD does not want you to know that because they say the ceramic plate is ‘adequate’ even without the steel plate backup.
Maybe you should talk to your Congressman.
Greg Wemhoff, USN, ret.

This issue has been going on for some time now.

The people that tested dragon skin say that eventhough a direct frontal hit is stopped very well by dragonskin, it is the bullets that come frome a sharp angle which are the ones that go inbetween the scales of the armor. i dont know if it’s true because the tests done by the military are usually labelled “classified”.

the fact remains that the increased mobility and decreased weight of dragonskin would be very, very welcome.

As much as has been discussed about body armor for the troops I would like to suggest a public test. Find a donor willing to put up the cash, (someone who really DOES support the troops), invite all the manufacturers to bring their suits, so they can“t claim test bias, Get one of the top gun magazines to set up and run the tests, they can guarantee the consistent parameters, invite anyone to show that represents a legit organization VA, VFW, congress, whatever, and settle the discussion about the existing body armor for now. THE TROOPS DESERVE NO LESS.

Interceptor Body Armor works. That’s the bottom line. Over the last 5–10 years the military has taken great strides to equip all of us with the absolute best equipment available. If Dragon Skin does what it claims to do, we would have it. The fact is that it does not. Rounds fired from any angle except 360 or 180 penetrates this vest. The manufacturer of Dragon Skin continues to debate this for one reason, they are hoping that families of servicemembers buy this product and send it to their servicemember. They are taking advantage of us and our families. At least on the small scale, this tactic seems to be working quite well. I have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and I was shot on 7 July 2004 in Ad Duluiyah, Iraq. The IBA I wore back then stopped the rounds as well as RPG shrapnel that hit right next to me. Granted, it stopped the pieces that hit the vest, my skin and bones pretty much stopped the rest of it. The SAPI plates I had then have since been replaced by even better models, as the military is constantly seeking improvement. Do not let the manufacturers of DragonSkin convince you that their product is better. It is not and had this been issued instead of Interceptor, we would have a lot more fatalities. One more thing and this is to

Mr. Greg Wernoff, write of the first commment above; I sincerely thank you for your service to our great nation. However, I must take exception to your statement about people needing to put steel plates behind the ceramic plates. I have never even heard of anyone doing that. Probably because no one does. Anyone who does is just a glutton for punishment by adding completely unnecessary weight. The Interceptor does it’s job, bottom line.

ALCON,
I just returned from a Tour in Iraq. I am here to tell you the SAPI plates work! One of my Soldiers was shot by a sniper from under 100m and the back SAPI stopped the bullet cold. Is the stuff (IOTV) heavy? Yes! Is it hot? Yes! Is it uncomfortable at times? Yes! Does it cause back, knee and shoulder strain? Yes! Does it save lives? Hell Yes!.…..I don’t pretend to know anything about Dragon Skin and there is nothing out there that will stop every bullet in every situation but I agree our Soldiers deserve the best!

You know whats heavier than an IBA…a CASKET. Dragon skin not only can be penetrated, once it is exposed to extreme heat for extended periods of time the “scales” begin to displace and build up at the bottom of the vest! Guess what happens then…BYE BYE! and the poster that stated that soldiers are putting steel plates behind their vests is obviously ignorant to the facts. I am an infantry soldier with 2 years and 9 months served in Iraq and I have seen the IBA stop mutiple round impacts, IED shrapnel, paper cuts lol, etc. and not once did the soldier have steel plates behind the ceramic

The IBA does work, I have seen it(OEF 7/8), but in an independent study Dragon Skin performed significantly better. I’m sure there needs to be more studies to test the Dragon Skin in various environments(i.e. extreme heat and cold, different angles of fire). A point I want to make is that we are not always provided the best equipment in the field. There are many things in play that go into acquiring new equipment, Politics and Lobbyists being a couple. Take for example the Stryker ICV. It has severe shortfalls and yet it is rolling off the presses. Conveniently the general who decided to acquire this vehicle retired and worked for the very same manufacturer. So, not always are we given the best equipment but sometimes we are given the equipment that is good enough but also puts money in certain folks hands. I provided some links I think support my remarks. If you check them out and disagree let’s hear it.

Styker

http://​www​.globalsecurity​.org/​m​i​l​i​t​a​r​y​/​l​i​b​r​a​r​y​/co

Dragon Skin

Part 1 http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​l​M​r​A​2​S​E​a​t8k

Part 2 http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​8​6​1​L​7​L​y​-​gR4

Greg
There is NO steel plate behind the sapi plate. You’re either confused, wrong, or simply dont know what YOU are talking about.

Mom;
I understand your anguish but Dragon Skin has a good marketing team. That’s it!!! It looks good,It’ light, It’s flexible but so is a T-shirt. Tests have been made already and that’s the reason Why our boys don’t have it NOT because DOD doesn’t want to spend the money on it. After tests were done at an Army Proving Grounds they determined that it wasn’t effective stopping most High powered ammo used in the field. For example if you get hit the piece of ceramic shatters ” Try not to get again” After which the Vest is useless until it goes back to Pinnacle Armor’s factory to replace the scale. Where as the current vest The Operator himself can swap the Trauma Plate and reuse. Believe me our plate carriers work and have given plenty of warriors second chances. As a Marine I can tell you our equipment works. It’s heavy, it carves into your skin but when you get hit and get up and realize Sh!t I’ll get to see another day you’ll know that what I’m saying makes sense. Make no mistake we have our best and brightest looking for lighter, stronger materials but for now this is the best available. Semper Fi Oh! BTW. Next time contact the US Marines or Dept of the Navy at least a Congressman NOT an Army General.

Hasn’t it already been proven that part of the problem with ceramic plates is that they shatter and do not provide protection against multiple impact rounds? A sniper will try to move after one shot, but if you get hit by an AK-47, isn’t it likely that multiple rounds will come in close proximity and likely to hit the plate’s original impact point? I understand the AK isn’t as accurate, but in the hands of a well trained soldier, I’d imagine the shot group to be relatively tight and would lead to a breach of the plate.

Hasn’t Dragon Skin proven its ability to take multiple sustained rounds of 7.62mm caliber and even in one test showing no penetration with a grenade exploding under it.

I agree with the soldier they know whats best so if they think the body armor now is adequet it is. they have tested it every day for a year and it saves lives, so don’t go double thinking everything your gorvenment tells you.

yeah, but those dateline news stories piss me off.

Family members of those serving in Iraq involve in an advocacy group are in absolutely no way qualified to talk about body armor effectiveness. There’s two people who can talk about how well a body armor works 1) material engineers. 2) people who have been shot wearing the vest

And no ONE person designed the old body armor system as the show claims. The armor was based around the old PASGT flack vests, designed by one company, built by several another and probably had several dozen engineers involved directly in its design.

At any rate, is this issue still going on? This is like circa 2007. The Army and Marines have both fielded different body armor since this time. In the case of the Marines, they’ve already come out with a version II with improvements.

Nick,

3 rounds and RPG shrapnel. Yet, here I am. My IBA stopped everything that hit it. When I got released from the hosptial and went back to Iraq, I simply exchanged the SAPI plates for new ones. With DragonSkin I would have needed to send the entire vest back to their manufacturer. That would not only be an inconvenience, but it would also be a lot more costly to the taxpayer. DragonSkin can say it cures cancer for all I care. I KNOW what works. Bendelgado3 got it right above…“DragonSkin has a good marketing team. That’s it.” They are playing on fear. I haven’t seen anything (documentation or video) showing what you describe as to multiple hits and grenade fragments. But I can tell you that my IBA held up to all of that. And the plates nowadays are even better than the ones I had back then. Oh yeah, and my plates did not shatter.

I too bought into the hype about Dragonskin before I went to Iraq in april 07. I researched it and yea it seemed like a great product. Ultimately I chose not to do it, after all, even if it was a better product, I’m not going to wear something my Soldiers cant wear (or afford to buy).

While I was lucky not to have been shot I will heed the advice here from the NCOs who HAVE or have seen Soldiers shot who say our current IBAs work great and have allowed them to live another day. So i cannot complain about our current IBA

Nevertheless, Oengus has a good point. Much equipment acquisitions occur based on politics and such things. Look at the Boeing vs Airbus scandal from a year ago. Boeing was able to undermine the process by influencing USAF officials and then play on people’s fears that “US jobs are lost” by going with a company partnership that is 50/50 US and European. But if the best plane was made by a half Euro company, WHO CARES?

So while I cannot say if that affected the choice to go with Interceptor, IT IS POSSIBLE that this could be the case. Who knows if some Florida Senator and lobbyist group raised hell to get their company selected over Pinnacle.

But at the end of the day, our IBAs are very effective and I was in a stryker BCT, they are GREAT vehicles.

Nick,

To date, all ballistic body armor stops bullets approximately the same way…by spreading the impact and the energy of a bullet over the entire plate in the case of SAPI, or the entire vest in the case of the carriers. Even dragonskin does this by spreading the entire impact along the vest’s “scales.” Since the entire vest is working to stop the bullet, they’re unusable once its been hit. Dragon skin, since the scales are integrated into the vest, has to have the entire vest remade, as SFC Sampsell said. The design is meant to save weight. You could make a plate that stops multiple rounds and they already have them.…but 1/2 in. steel plates weigh about 100 pounds.

Some university has claimed to have fixed this problem and made a ballistic plate that stops multiple bullets and is lighter than the current plates…but their keeping exactly how it works on the DL until its been patented tested and they can contract the design to a firm to manufacturing.

And no one ever mentions that the Dragonskin armor weights around 45 pounds for the small vest (i think its like 60 for the large)

this argument has been going on for thousands of years. Since man has made war he has made armor. Iron replaced Bronze, steel replaced Iron and then Kevlar has replaced Steel.

The biggest problem is Hollywood. Parents see the movies where the good-looking action stars take full mags in the vest and then brush themselves off and say something witty. We all know that this is bullsh!t. And parents would love to put their children in a bubble. Thats why dragonskin is still alive. Like it has been said they are preying on these parents that are worried about their children. The guys at aberdeen know what they are doing and the american people need to trust them to make the best recommendation they can.

On another note I see the word adequate being thrown around alot here. How would you define adequate. Some would say being able to take multiple hits and keep on fighting would be “adequate” Others would say that if you get hit, just living is “adequate” enough.

In the end bullets, bombs, and gas have more power to take lives than all the body armor can to save them. So there is no perfect answer we are still going to lose guys even with the X-SAPI but if thats the best stuff we can get dammit let the troops have it.

PS. the DOD needs to declassify those tests

Declassifying the tests would satisfy nobody. If the results were negative, the DragonSkin cultists would just claim that “the REAL results OBVIOUSL haven’t been release, you’re STILL HOLDING BACK!” Meanwhile, people trying to beat US IBA now know exactly what our figures of merit are, and exactly what kinds of threats we design for.

Army Acquisition Capos Fraudulently Alter Body Armor Test Results

http://​www​.defensereview​.com/​m​o​d​u​l​e​s​.​p​h​p​?​n​a​m​e​=​N​e​w​s​&​a​m​p​;​f​i​l​e​=​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​&​a​m​p​;​s​i​d​=​1​140

June 12, 2008

Thanks to an Air Force debarment action against Pinnacle Armor, manufacturer of Dragon Skin body armor, documents have been obtained, and witnesses deposed that provide hard evidence that the Army Acquisition capos fraudulently altered test reports to reflect the results desired by this band of criminal knaves.

And, they did so knowing full well the certain and fatal consequences that their unconscionable actions would have on America’s Grunts.

Here’s the latest ugly story in this litany of shameful, corrupt conduct by the Army Acquisition capos and their black-hearted contempt for America’s Grunts:…

ALTERED TEST DOCUMENTS AND CORRUPTED TEST DATA

DefenseWatch recently obtained ballistic test documents that show blatant and unequivocal signs of having been fraudulently altered, albeit in the most clumsy manner, to falsely portray test results of Pinnacle Armor’s Dragon Skin body armor in three tests from August 2005 through June 2006.

Additionally, sworn depositions describe the criminal manipulation of test protocols by Army acquisition officials to produce fraudulent test reports that allowed them to falsely claim Dragon Skin had failed to perform to the levels cited by its manufacturer. These criminal distortions of standard test protocols were simple, yet breathtaking in their audacity.

To see but one example of the fraudulent alteration of documents, Note that this document is purported to be a print-out page displaying data captured in a computer-hosted data base which would therefore have uniform format and data entries if they were made by a printer. On just this single “print out” page, ten specific alterations have been detected by a certified forensic document examiner!

Numerous other documents show similar brazen and bold indicators of fraudulent alterations.

The documents were obtained by Pinnacle Armor during the discovery phase of its ongoing dispute with the Air Force over that Service’s debarment. The forensic analysis of the cited documents was performed by a certified forensic document examiner in Seattle, Washington, hired by Pinnacle Armor after the company’s own examination noted a number of suspicious anomalies.

The following is a list of ten items noted by the certified forensic document examiner are keyed to the one page linked to above. (While DefensWatch was able to note all ten of the types of alterations listed below, only the first listed item specified that magnification had been used to identify the precise cause of the alteration, “liquid paper white out.”)

Bubbling under magnification indicative of ink being laid over the top of liquid paper white out.
Incorrect placement of vertical alignment of number.
Hand filled in line.
Different font size of numbers and/or letters.
Hand drafted letters and/or numbers.
The vertical rise of the number “5” is different from the body of the text which is slightly slanted.
The lack of even spacing above and below the letters and/or numbers in rows.
The lack of the two sized horizontal separation lines, not indicative of format used on a regular basis.
The vertical splice line.
The lower filled in dark splice covering line, not indicative of format used on a regular basis.
Murray Neal, President and CEO of Pinnacle Armor further explained that the documents turned over by the Air Force during the discovery phase of the debarment dispute were from several tests conducted by H. P. White Laboratory, Inc. (Interestingly, H.P. White Lab has been the most frequently used test facility used by PEO-Soldier. It has been used in spite of the Army’s own premier ballistic test facility, the Army Test Center, Aberdeen, Maryland, being available and located just a few miles from H.P. White Lab.

Note that on the test-results document linked to above, that PEO Soldier (sic) is listed as the receiving office, and further that the ubiquitous “Dr. J. Zheng” is listed at the individual to receive the document. The date of the test was 13 June 2006, less than a month after the notorious May test of Dragon Skin which was the central topic of discussion at the House Armed Services Committee hearing in June 2007.

All seven deposed witnesses to the tests report that Zheng was physically present for the test on June 13, 2006. But, recently obtained copies of visitors’ log from H.P. White Lab do not record Zheng as having been checked in and out of the facility as is required for all such activities with clearance for DoD classified information.

To add to the intrigue on just who was giving improper directions to the H.P. White Lab technicians during the tests, these H.P. White Lab records show that Karl Masters, then director of testing for PEO-Solider, checked in at 10:50am and checked out at 4:00pm. (While not one of the seven deposed persons volunteered information that Masters was present, they were not specifically asked about this point.)

Contemporaneous documents show Masters present, but not Zheng. Yet seven staff members of H.P. White Lab have under oath said Zheng was present, although access logs do not show he was officially checked in and out of the facility as required by DoD security directives.

Why is the question of which Army representatives were present for these tests an important issue? Because five test technicians (both “shooters” and “recorders”) have stated under oath and penalty of perjury that the data forms presented for their review at their depositions did not reflect their recall of the events. That is, they did not recall Dragon Skin Level III body armor being defeated by Level III rounds, yet the test reports — showing clear signs of having been altered — did show such failures.

The “chain of custody” of this test data and the resulting records should be a focus point for the ongoing GAO body armor inquiry, if not for a new criminal investigation.

A reminder — the head of the PEO-Soldier office responsible for the Army’s body armor program was then-Colonel John Norwood, highlighted in DefenseWatch on several previous occasions. Norwood retired a few months after this June 2006 test of Dragon Skin, going to work for Armor Holdings, a major recipient of Army body armor contracts. (Armor Holdings was bought by BAE, a major defense contractor in the summer of 2007.)

DefenseWatch reported on January 2 of this year that Norwood was under criminal investigation.

This quote is from a April 4, 2008 news report in the Miami Herald that stated Norwood and BAE Systems Specialty Defense Systems (the successor entity to Armor Holdings’ body armor business) are both subjects of a civil legal claim by a body armor competitor.

Point Blank accuses BAE Systems Specialty Defense Systems of Pennsylvania and John Norwood, a former Army program manager now employed with BAE’s parent, of using confidential information Norwood learned while he was with the Army to persuade a Point Blank subcontractor to enter into an exclusive relationship with BAE.

MANIPULATING AND CORRUPTING TEST PROTOCOLS

The President and CEO of Pinnacle Armor was unaware that this and some other tests had even been conducted on his company’s body armor until the discovery phase of his ongoing dispute with the Air Force produced documentary evidence of these previously undisclosed “tests.”

H.P. White Lab conducted the tests under contract to support PEO-Soldier, but the tests were conducted for the Air Force Office of Special Investigation which had at the time a contract with Pinnacle Armor.

To state the obvious — the fraudulent alterations are done to portray Dragon Skin as having failed the ballistics tests, when in fact, as confirmed by several depositions from persons involved in the tests at H.P. White Lab, Dragon Skin passed the tests.

This document and the others obtained by Pinnacle Armor are copies, not originals. The actual perpetrators of the fraudulent alterations have not yet been identified, but DefenseWatch has seen no evidence to date that implicates H.P. White Lab in any such misconduct.

DefenseWatch reviewed information in three despositions that shows a number of clever “tricks” used to manipulate and grossly violate the standard test protocols that, if honestly implemented, should ensure all products are “tested to the same standard,” as a legion of Army Acquisition capos have claimed.

For example, on one test of a Dragon Skin Level III body armor vest, an on-scene Army official directed that a Level IV round be fired into the Level III Dragon Skin test item. The Level III Dragon Skin was penetrated by the Level IV round, but the Army reported to the Air Force, which readily accepted the fraudulent Army misrepresentation, that the Dragon Skin Level III vest had failed to stop the round.

This blatant distortion totally ignored the key fact, that the shot was illegitimate and the penetration invalid because the penetration was by a Level IV round into a Level III vest.

Yep. When the tests showed that the Level III Dragon Skin was defeating the specified Level III rounds, some Army official — or officials — simply directed the testers to substitute Level IV rounds in order to get the desired result, i.e., a penetration of the Dragon Skin ballistic protection. The test results were then falsely portrayed to the Air Force as a Dragon Skin failure. (Whether the Air Force personnel were merely clueless about the difference between Level III and Level IV, or were criminally complicit in the fraud is an unanswered question at this point.)

Another distortion of the test protocol was to remove the Dragon Skin ballistic inset protection, i.e., the ceramic disks and their adhesive mesh, from the kevlar vest, and to then shoot just this component — without the “backing” that is an integral part of the design. One deposed H.P. White Lab test technician said that such a test shot — into a segregated component — should not be counted as a failure under standard test criteria and protocols, and was not reported as a failure by those recording the data at the time of the test!

The conclusion is crystal clear: Someone manipulated the data base to falsely record this test result as a failure.

Both Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) and Dragon Skin body armor are designed to be worn as complete units. Shooting Dragon Skin without its outer tactical vest component would be akin to shooting IBA without its Outer Tactical Vest, and everyone at H.P. White Lab and PEO-Soldier know this to be the case. The Army’s own test protocol very clearly requires that the solid ceramic ballistic plate be mounted in front the OTV component for all tests. Dragon Skin must also be shot with the complete vest assembled — the outer tactical vest component and the ballistic inset component.

Of course, in this case, the Army reported to the Air Force that Dragon Skin had failed to defeat the test round. The Army did not report that the shot was outside standard criteria and protocols.

Not surprisingly, the Air Force is protesting Pinnacle Armor’s efforts to submit these depositions. It is also trying prevent these very same test participants appearing as witnesses in an upcoming hearing on the Air Force debarment action against Pinnacle Armor.

For those who have not followed DefenseWatch reporting on the body armor controversy over the past 32 months, this latest episode is yet one more example of the ugly truth the when it comes to personal protective equipment for America’s Grunts — a fair, full and transparent test of Dragon Skin has never been conducted whenever the Army Acquisition capos controlled the testing.

To any objective observer, a strange paradox stands starkly exposed:

–Whenever Dragon Skin has been tested by someone other than the Army Acquisition Mafiosi, its performance has been as advertised by the manufacturer.

– On the other hand, whenever Dragon Skin has been tested under the control of the Army Acquisition Mafiosi, its performance has not been as advertised by the manufacturer.

Is it any wonder then that Lt.Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, nominated to be Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, ordered eight sets of Dragon Skin for himself and his personal staff in May 2006 while serving in Baghdad, and that several Personal Security Detachments (PSD’s) also had the option of using Dragon Skin instead of Interceptor?

Dragon Skin may not be “good enough” for today’s Soldiers, but it was fine for Lt.Gen. Chiarelli and his horse-holders.

For more reporting on this story,see this video clip of a news report by KSEE24 television in Fresno, California.

Just curious to see if anyone remembers back to OIF1 and OIF2 and seeing a 2 star walking around in a specific body armor that is currently in question.

Anything beats just a shirt.

Body armor? Huh? In 11 wars with the US Navy, including the recent ones, the best I was ever issued was the old PASGT vest that won’t stop a 9mm pistol bullet. In several wars I had to scrounge even the ineffective flack vest from Army cast-offs. Last I heard, the Navy was still issuing the ineffective body armor and only sailors deployed with the Army or Marines got the vests that actually stop bullets.

If I recall, Dragon Skin had some pretty serious issues with the ceramic disks delaminating from the backing that held them into place in high temperatures/high humidity and moving, rendering the vest basically useless. Also, Dragon Skin armor is not, in fact, lighter than a plate carrier with SAPI plates, it weighs in at nearly 20 pounds heavier. These two reasons alone disqualify it from use in my book, never mind the severely reduced protective ability if the plates are hit at an angle. As a Soldier, I need to be able to move and fight effectively without worrying if my brand-new, fancy armor that has added twenty pounds to my load is actually going to perform the way it is alleged to.

One of the main reasons that ceramic is used to stop bullets is that when it is hit, it does in fact crack. Note that there is a difference between crack and “shatter.” When the plate cracks, some of the impact energy is redirected along the crack, as opposed to into the soldier. Even with cracking, current SAPI plates have the ability to withstand up to seven individual impacts from a 7.62x39mm round before their integrity is compromised. Combine

I DOUBT ANY ORGANIZATION WILL, BUT HOW ABOUT SUGGESTING TO AN ORGANIZATION AND HAVE A DONATION FROM TROOPS SO THEY CAN SEE FOR THEMSELVE. IF YOU WANT SHIT DONE YOU’RE GONNA HAVE TO DO IT YOURSELF. WHO ALWAYS GET GETS SHIT DONE??? THE TROOPS!!!
IN RESPONSE:
greg zurbay March 18th, 2009 at 3:27 am

As much as has been discussed about body armor for the troops I would like to suggest a public test. Find a donor willing to put up the cash, (someone who really DOES support the troops), invite all the manufacturers to bring their suits, so they can”t claim test bias, Get one of the top gun magazines to set up and run the tests, they can guarantee the consistent parameters, invite anyone to show that represents a legit organization VA, VFW, congress, whatever, and settle the discussion about the existing body armor for now. THE TROOPS DESERVE NO LESS.

Please to put all questions to rest watch this Video. http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​P​u​M​H​h​w​_​w​1qs

Ask BAE/Armor Holdings, what they have to say about this subject. They are the ones behind the
phony test results. Billions are at steak here.
BAE makes more money from selling gear to the Army than almost anything else sold to the Dept. of Defense. Helmets, Belts, Pouches, Vests, etc.
Only BAE has the nerve to corrupt a test like that. Burn in Hell BAE!

Hey Greg,the Mom was correct to call the Army. PEO Soldier (Item Manager of the armor) is an Army entity, which provides the armor to ALL services in theater.

I think the Army should focus on transparent polished alumina using flawless material on the atomic level and other nano-technologies for armor. A 4 inch square can defeat a .50 cal BMG ball round. It is extremely expensive, but it is super light and would be perfect for armor. Just focus on bringing down the cost, so a vest would cost less than $100,000. Our troops deserve the best!

http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​T​r​a​n​s​p​a​r​e​n​t​_​a​l​u​m​ina

Proverbs 16:18
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.“
Luke 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?
I still believe that we are “ONE NATION, UNDER GOD!” The blood that spills out of a marine is as red as the blood that spills out of an army, navy, coast gaurd or air force troop. It is the american way to pull together in the face of adversity to overcome whatever EVIL befalls us. We need your experience and insight to help us make a breakthrough on our armor research. please give your feedback at http://​www​.aquadefensetechnologies​.com

Enough about the armor!!!! the decision has been made already. I can tell some of you guys have never been the military, or you have no discipline.

Looks like mom opened up a can of worms on this one hehe. Must say I agree with mom on her intent if it is her intent to see that her son gets lighter armor. After my tour in Iraq wearing that body armor 12–16 hours a day and day after day it did take its toll on me still feeling the effects of the heavy armor. Will also admit the recall of thousands of vests does not exactly help with the cofidence level on the product. Majority of the time they do work but with a price of being broke latter in life. She does have a point though we really need something lighter and can do its job well and is easy to maintain or service like the current IBA. Dragon Skin I was really hopping it would work but was dissapointed when the results came out. With these constant deployments if we dont find something soon its going to really wear our force out and will be to broke to fight. Also there are days I do question DoD’s findings after all these came out when Donald Rumsfeild was running the Pentagon and we are talking about the same idiot who did not know which end was for what when it came to the military and if his “prefered” products did not win he would just scrap the whole competition and about to open up another can of worms on this one hehe but the rifle competition when the XM-8 left Colts M4 and M16 which is a peice of junk in the desert and if in a fire fight and I killed an insurgent I would take his AK-47 and his ammo and just sling my own weapon cause thats way more reliable. I gues the whole point is since that idiot is gone in order to really put these issues to bed once and for all just start over on all these tests and competitions maybe even to add little legitemancy to it even find test centers as a third second opinion in countries that could care less about products for our military who could give an honest opinion and not care about the politics of it then hope to put issues behind us once and for all.

Uhh, “fraudhappens” I suggest you put your tinfoil hat back on, take your meds and rest like the doctor tells you.

When hit in the vest by small arms fire the wearer survives, what the hell else do you want the vest to do?

wrt to the LTC that went to work in his area of expertise after he got out. What did you expect him to do, become an interior decorator? Unless he decides to start over from scratch in a new career field, he will be working in the same community after he gets out that he worked in before. If you don’t like that, then increase retirement benefits so nobody ever has to work after they retire. Yeah, I din’t think so.

Publishing specs on your defensive systems just informs your enemy on how to attack you. So make your enemy figure it out for himself, hopefully you penetrate him while he’s still figuring.

Yes, please stop with the armor crap. Lack of discipline and if any of you are regular military, you should know better. Posting on here like you are makes us look bad, follow your chain of command if you want things to change. Griping on here won’t change anything.

I cannot comment on the relative effectiveness of Dragon Skin versus other armor. However, when Dragon Skin is laid down, especially if not completely flat, the “scales” do change position, changing (reducing?) the effectiveness of the armor.

Norman

I was in Iraq in 2005–2006 using the then best and newest body armor issued by Fort Bragg. Fortunately I never had a hit in numerous trips outside of the wire. Was the gear heavy, yes, did it impeded mobility somewhat yes but was it much better then what I wore in Desert Storm and Vietnam…of course! Now, what is coloring this issue are the allegataions of testing manipulation. I am a former Federal IG and criminal investigator. I handled product substitution fraud cases. Until a jury or judge decides these are allegations. To a lay-person they sound convincing. However if they don’t hold up in court they remain nothing more then allegations. Sorry Dragon Skin advocates I am waiting for the court case before I blog on this issue. Of course…it would be intersting to take the two types of body armor to the NRA Range in Northern Virginia and hold an informal test if I could. But even if I had the services of a doctor with trauma expereince, and an engineer with at least a Masters Level degree my testing would still not be anything more then an iformed laymans opinion.

There is only one way to stop bullits!STOP SHOOTING THEM!In a word PEACE.

FraudHappens March 18th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I agree with everything posted below. I have been very involved with the body armor issue since our son made his first trip to Iraq in 2004.

I won’t go into much detail but I have visited all of the major body armor producers in the US since that year and I can tell you, the entire situation is fraught with fraud and lies. The information gathered was presented to members of Congress in 2005 and was made part of the Congressional Record after a presentation to the Senate.

In addition, I have made presentations to members of the Congress and the military and yet this sham regarding body armor continues despite appearing on FOX and NPR looking for help in exposing the body armor fiasco. I’m sorry to say, this entire situation comes down to no bid contracts, who you know and who you are tight with politically.

I would like to make one correction to something someone posted. Dragon Skin body armor is manufactured by Pinnacle and not PointBlank. PointBlank was an early supplier of SAPI body armor but has since lost government business due to the fact the CEO and a few of his underings have been indicted for skimming money from the company.

Bottom line, there has never been and probably never will be a shoot off comparing all available armor by an independent party.

Appreciate the info provided by FraudHappens. People should do a little more studying before offering anecdotal stories about body armor. There has to be a reason why the upper brass and almost to a man were photographed wearing DragonSkin armor on most occassions in Iraq and Afghanistan prior to 08.

S/F Gordon
______________________________________________

Army Acquisition Capos Fraudulently Alter Body Armor Test Results

http://​www​.defensereview​.com/​m​o​d​u​l​e​s​.​p​h​p​?​n​a​m​e​=​N​e​w​s​&​a​m​p​;​f​i​l​e​=​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​&​a​m​p​;​s​i​d​=​1​140

June 12, 2008

Thanks to an Air Force debarment action against Pinnacle Armor, manufacturer of Dragon Skin body armor, documents have been obtained, and witnesses deposed that provide hard evidence that the Army Acquisition capos fraudulently altered test reports to reflect the results desired by this band of criminal knaves.

And, they did so knowing full well the certain and fatal consequences that their unconscionable actions would have on America’s Grunts.

Here’s the latest ugly story in this litany of shameful, corrupt conduct by the Army Acquisition capos and their black-hearted contempt for America’s Grunts:…

ALTERED TEST DOCUMENTS AND CORRUPTED TEST DATA

DefenseWatch recently obtained ballistic test documents that show blatant and unequivocal signs of having been fraudulently altered, albeit in the most clumsy manner, to falsely portray test results of Pinnacle Armor’s Dragon Skin body armor in three tests from August 2005 through June 2006.

Additionally, sworn depositions describe the criminal manipulation of test protocols by Army acquisition officials to produce fraudulent test reports that allowed them to falsely claim Dragon Skin had failed to perform to the levels cited by its manufacturer. These criminal distortions of standard test protocols were simple, yet breathtaking in their audacity.

To see but one example of the fraudulent alteration of documents, Note that this document is purported to be a print-out page displaying data captured in a computer-hosted data base which would therefore have uniform format and data entries if they were made by a printer. On just this single “print out” page, ten specific alterations have been detected by a certified forensic document examiner!

Numerous other documents show similar brazen and bold indicators of fraudulent alterations.

The documents were obtained by Pinnacle Armor during the discovery phase of its ongoing dispute with the Air Force over that Service’s debarment. The forensic analysis of the cited documents was performed by a certified forensic document examiner in Seattle, Washington, hired by Pinnacle Armor after the company’s own examination noted a number of suspicious anomalies.

The following is a list of ten items noted by the certified forensic document examiner are keyed to the one page linked to above. (While DefensWatch was able to note all ten of the types of alterations listed below, only the first listed item specified that magnification had been used to identify the precise cause of the alteration, “liquid paper white out.”)

Bubbling under magnification indicative of ink being laid over the top of liquid paper white out.
Incorrect placement of vertical alignment of number.
Hand filled in line.
Different font size of numbers and/or letters.
Hand drafted letters and/or numbers.
The vertical rise of the number “5” is different from the body of the text which is slightly slanted.
The lack of even spacing above and below the letters and/or numbers in rows.
The lack of the two sized horizontal separation lines, not indicative of format used on a regular basis.
The vertical splice line.
The lower filled in dark splice covering line, not indicative of format used on a regular basis.
Murray Neal, President and CEO of Pinnacle Armor further explained that the documents turned over by the Air Force during the discovery phase of the debarment dispute were from several tests conducted by H. P. White Laboratory, Inc. (Interestingly, H.P. White Lab has been the most frequently used test facility used by PEO-Soldier. It has been used in spite of the Army’s own premier ballistic test facility, the Army Test Center, Aberdeen, Maryland, being available and located just a few miles from H.P. White Lab.

Note that on the test-results document linked to above, that PEO Soldier (sic) is listed as the receiving office, and further that the ubiquitous “Dr. J. Zheng” is listed at the individual to receive the document. The date of the test was 13 June 2006, less than a month after the notorious May test of Dragon Skin which was the central topic of discussion at the House Armed Services Committee hearing in June 2007.

All seven deposed witnesses to the tests report that Zheng was physically present for the test on June 13, 2006. But, recently obtained copies of visitors’ log from H.P. White Lab do not record Zheng as having been checked in and out of the facility as is required for all such activities with clearance for DoD classified information.

To add to the intrigue on just who was giving improper directions to the H.P. White Lab technicians during the tests, these H.P. White Lab records show that Karl Masters, then director of testing for PEO-Solider, checked in at 10:50am and checked out at 4:00pm. (While not one of the seven deposed persons volunteered information that Masters was present, they were not specifically asked about this point.)

Contemporaneous documents show Masters present, but not Zheng. Yet seven staff members of H.P. White Lab have under oath said Zheng was present, although access logs do not show he was officially checked in and out of the facility as required by DoD security directives.

Why is the question of which Army representatives were present for these tests an important issue? Because five test technicians (both “shooters” and “recorders”) have stated under oath and penalty of perjury that the data forms presented for their review at their depositions did not reflect their recall of the events. That is, they did not recall Dragon Skin Level III body armor being defeated by Level III rounds, yet the test reports — showing clear signs of having been altered — did show such failures.

The “chain of custody” of this test data and the resulting records should be a focus point for the ongoing GAO body armor inquiry, if not for a new criminal investigation.

A reminder — the head of the PEO-Soldier office responsible for the Army’s body armor program was then-Colonel John Norwood, highlighted in DefenseWatch on several previous occasions. Norwood retired a few months after this June 2006 test of Dragon Skin, going to work for Armor Holdings, a major recipient of Army body armor contracts. (Armor Holdings was bought by BAE, a major defense contractor in the summer of 2007.)

DefenseWatch reported on January 2 of this year that Norwood was under criminal investigation.

This quote is from a April 4, 2008 news report in the Miami Herald that stated Norwood and BAE Systems Specialty Defense Systems (the successor entity to Armor Holdings’ body armor business) are both subjects of a civil legal claim by a body armor competitor.

Point Blank accuses BAE Systems Specialty Defense Systems of Pennsylvania and John Norwood, a former Army program manager now employed with BAE’s parent, of using confidential information Norwood learned while he was with the Army to persuade a Point Blank subcontractor to enter into an exclusive relationship with BAE.

MANIPULATING AND CORRUPTING TEST PROTOCOLS

The President and CEO of Pinnacle Armor was unaware that this and some other tests had even been conducted on his company’s body armor until the discovery phase of his ongoing dispute with the Air Force produced documentary evidence of these previously undisclosed “tests.”

H.P. White Lab conducted the tests under contract to support PEO-Soldier, but the tests were conducted for the Air Force Office of Special Investigation which had at the time a contract with Pinnacle Armor.

To state the obvious — the fraudulent alterations are done to portray Dragon Skin as having failed the ballistics tests, when in fact, as confirmed by several depositions from persons involved in the tests at H.P. White Lab, Dragon Skin passed the tests.

This document and the others obtained by Pinnacle Armor are copies, not originals. The actual perpetrators of the fraudulent alterations have not yet been identified, but DefenseWatch has seen no evidence to date that implicates H.P. White Lab in any such misconduct.

DefenseWatch reviewed information in three despositions that shows a number of clever “tricks” used to manipulate and grossly violate the standard test protocols that, if honestly implemented, should ensure all products are “tested to the same standard,” as a legion of Army Acquisition capos have claimed.

For example, on one test of a Dragon Skin Level III body armor vest, an on-scene Army official directed that a Level IV round be fired into the Level III Dragon Skin test item. The Level III Dragon Skin was penetrated by the Level IV round, but the Army reported to the Air Force, which readily accepted the fraudulent Army misrepresentation, that the Dragon Skin Level III vest had failed to stop the round.

This blatant distortion totally ignored the key fact, that the shot was illegitimate and the penetration invalid because the penetration was by a Level IV round into a Level III vest.

Yep. When the tests showed that the Level III Dragon Skin was defeating the specified Level III rounds, some Army official — or officials — simply directed the testers to substitute Level IV rounds in order to get the desired result, i.e., a penetration of the Dragon Skin ballistic protection. The test results were then falsely portrayed to the Air Force as a Dragon Skin failure. (Whether the Air Force personnel were merely clueless about the difference between Level III and Level IV, or were criminally complicit in the fraud is an unanswered question at this point.)

Another distortion of the test protocol was to remove the Dragon Skin ballistic inset protection, i.e., the ceramic disks and their adhesive mesh, from the kevlar vest, and to then shoot just this component — without the “backing” that is an integral part of the design. One deposed H.P. White Lab test technician said that such a test shot — into a segregated component — should not be counted as a failure under standard test criteria and protocols, and was not reported as a failure by those recording the data at the time of the test!

The conclusion is crystal clear: Someone manipulated the data base to falsely record this test result as a failure.

Both Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) and Dragon Skin body armor are designed to be worn as complete units. Shooting Dragon Skin without its outer tactical vest component would be akin to shooting IBA without its Outer Tactical Vest, and everyone at H.P. White Lab and PEO-Soldier know this to be the case. The Army’s own test protocol very clearly requires that the solid ceramic ballistic plate be mounted in front the OTV component for all tests. Dragon Skin must also be shot with the complete vest assembled — the outer tactical vest component and the ballistic inset component.

Of course, in this case, the Army reported to the Air Force that Dragon Skin had failed to defeat the test round. The Army did not report that the shot was outside standard criteria and protocols.

Not surprisingly, the Air Force is protesting Pinnacle Armor’s efforts to submit these depositions. It is also trying prevent these very same test participants appearing as witnesses in an upcoming hearing on the Air Force debarment action against Pinnacle Armor.

For those who have not followed DefenseWatch reporting on the body armor controversy over the past 32 months, this latest episode is yet one more example of the ugly truth the when it comes to personal protective equipment for America’s Grunts — a fair, full and transparent test of Dragon Skin has never been conducted whenever the Army Acquisition capos controlled the testing.

To any objective observer, a strange paradox stands starkly exposed:

–Whenever Dragon Skin has been tested by someone other than the Army Acquisition Mafiosi, its performance has been as advertised by the manufacturer.

– On the other hand, whenever Dragon Skin has been tested under the control of the Army Acquisition Mafiosi, its performance has not been as advertised by the manufacturer.

Is it any wonder then that Lt.Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, nominated to be Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, ordered eight sets of Dragon Skin for himself and his personal staff in May 2006 while serving in Baghdad, and that several Personal Security Detachments (PSD’s) also had the option of using Dragon Skin instead of Interceptor?

Dragon Skin may not be “good enough” for today’s Soldiers, but it was fine for Lt.Gen. Chiarelli and his horse-holders.

For more reporting on this story,see this video clip of a news report by KSEE24 television in Fresno, California.

Kaiser…you need to take your “peace” suggestion to the mullahs in Iran, the whahhabi schools in Saudi Arabia, the fascists in Hamastan/Gaza and Al Jazerra. You’re preaching to the choir here. The troops don’t go to war because they like being shot at. They go to war because there are bad people out there who will kill clueless simpletons like you for no reason, given the chance.

So some general sitting behind a desk at the Pentagon says Dragon Skin does not work. Hmmmm. Altered tests?? Gee, that would not have anything to do with it.

Soldiers For The Truth have been fighting like crazy to get the truth out about Dragon Skin.

Interceptor has already been proven to be deficient. Let’s have open testing AWAY from Pentagon controls.

PG-16 Combat Equipment & Support Systems at MarCorSysCom at Quantico, Virginia is the product group assigned with acquisition and fielding of body armor for Marines. All product groups at Systems Command are directed by needs statements derived by MCDCC, also aboard Quantico Base. Rigorous testing is done by vendors and the Marine Corps throughout the competitive process of source selection. To learn more and for points of contact, go through the tennants link at Quantico Base site.

Well, here this goes. Please pay attention to the end of this post the most. All that I have heard so far, is a bunch of people pumping their chests, self-proclaimed know-it-all’s, complainers, probably some people who have never seen combat, nor ever will. As for “Mr. CDR USN RET”…what was even your point of wasting your time writing a message in this post. Did you want every one reading this to think you are a tough guy? Also, 11 wars??? WTF?!?! So, were you in the War Of 1812…which wars?!?! Geez, get a life, tough guy. To all of you who are reading this that have seen “real”, “heavy”, “prolonged” combat, know that the guys who pump their chest the most, have never seen nor understood their own mortality. I have seen some heavy combat, but do you know what.…I am not saying that to pump my chest. I am only saying that to bring up my next point. I have been shot and taken shrapnel to my vest on a couple different occasions. Each instance with every single person in combat that takes “lead”, is “unique” to that “exact” situation. For example…different angles, distances, body position, position of gear over vest, etc… I have used ceramic plates and I am currently using the Dragon skin. The reality is…both types of armor has it’s pros and cons. CERAMIC PLATES: PRO-(1)Will stop a hit from most rounds (In these current conflicts) and I have seen some people take up to four rounds on one plate and none of them have penetrated (Of course not in the same spot though). (2) Can be replaced with minimal cost after it has taken a hit. CON– (1)Only cover part of the body (2)You will probably only have the ability to change a destroyed plate, after your engagement is over.…not good for prolonged combat after you have taken a serious hit(s). DRAGON SKIN: PRO (1)Excellent protection for a much larger area of the torso…even if you think it is not as strong as the ceramic plates…compare it to the 3A soft armor you use in conjunction with the plates (2)Flexible, compared to the plate. CON-(1)Angle shots and durability(SUPPOSEDLY)(2)Price Now, there are probably many more pros and cons for each, but I will just throw in two each. Here is a good question for everyone.…what contributes to the largest casualties on the modern battlefield??? Fragmentation or Sniper fire? We all know the answer.…“FRAGMENTATION”! Now, which would you prefer? Dragon Skin, which has much more protection…to include the sides of your body or a small ceramic plate surrounded by 3a armor? Yes, I have heard the conspiracy’s about Dragon skin and that one freak incident that may have happened, but I really think that Dragon Skin is our best bet…Only if those money hungry businessmen drop the price and work on improving the armor. Lastly, did you know that if you purchase Dragon Skin and it is “defeated” by something that it was rated at to stop…you will receive $17,000,000! I will say that again…17 Million dollars. Now, don’t think I am a salesman for the company, but damn that is good. Also, I would love to hear one incident that the armor failed to protect what it was rated for.…Not One! Why would all of the most elite units in the US military use them, if it doesn’t work? Hmmm, I wonder.

Everyone should just check out Armoredmobility​.com and the links to comments from Dr. Gary Roberts, foremost authority on body armor/ballistics. AMIs stuff out-performs not only Dragon Skin but everything else on the market! I know from personal experience. You want what will save your life, get their SAPI plates!

What’s more, AMI allowed us to test shoot their stuff and put it up against any other armor we had. Their armor plates took significantly more rounds of more types of amo than anything else! It was definitely the performance champion and it won’t shatter like ceramics. They will put it up against anything you have and always have independent testing done and make sure their stuff performs to a much higher standard than required for NIJ certification.

I wear body armor as a member of the law enforcement community. It will not stop the rounds fired at our soldiers fighting oversees. The stuff they currently have does work. It is not perfect. Nothing is. My girlfriend has been deployed twice with in LRS and daily handed out and had this body armor turned back in to her unit. They had counteless soldiers handing this armor back in after it had been shot, and not one of them was complaining about the effectiveness of it. Take a moment to ponder this– What would our casualty rate be if our troops did not have the body armor at all???? In regards to the comments made about Point Blank, it is the prefered vest choice for law enforcement and those guys get to choose who they buy their body armor from. Alot of officers today are alive because of that companies products

DragonSkin looked great during that episode of “Weaponology”, then again Mack makes everything sound rosy. I never wore it, but can only go by anecdotal info.

HELLO MOM
I UNDERSTAND WHY U CALL THE ARMY AND U ARE RIGHT TO CALL THEM BECAUSE THEY DO ALL THE TESTING FOR ANY BODY ARMOR THAT ENTERS THE SERICES
I WORN THE CURRENT BODY ARMOR CURRENTLY IN USE AND GUESS WHAT IS F@#KING UNCOMFORTABLE CAN IT STOP A BULLET YES BUT ONLY ON THE SAPI PLATE, THE DRAGON SKIN GIVES ALL ROUND PROTECTION FROM A 7.62 ROUND I WAS ONE OF THE PERSON THERE WHILE THEY WERE DOING THE TEST AND COMPAIRING THEM, AND THIS TEST WAS CONSIDER CLASSIFIED BECAUSE IF WORD GET OUT THE MILITARY WILL BE REQ TO SUPPLY ALL BRANCES WITH THE DRAGON SKIN. WHICH WILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE.

Maybe you should check out this site, seems like this body armor outdoes all of the above products and is lighter weight.

http://​www​.lineoffire​.ca/

Anything is better than the so call flak jacket I wore in Vietnam, it didn’t even slow an AK round down, they just punched through it like a knife going through hot butter.

But the question should be, is why doesn’t the Dragon Skin meet the military standards? Answer, is simple, the ain’t some retired military general in this man’s company, championing his cause. To damn much politics getting our troops KIA or WIA just like it did in Vietnam.

Hell, the chicken plate I wore, just deflected the round and took off your arm or you leg, if not your neck and face. In which case your butt was DOW. “Died of Wounds”, a number the military or the VA can’t give you about Vietnam.

The should be more like 78,000 names on the Wall in DC because of this lie, and lies like the failure of the Dragon Skin.

As a retired DOD contractor who was involved in many equipment (but not personal armor) tests, I can say for certain if someone had messed with our test findings you’d still be hearing the echoes from our yelling. I do not believe that DOD can get away with changing test results. There are far too many honest, honorable, scientists and engineers. When it comes to soldier’s lives no security clearance would stop at least some of these folks going to the press, writing congress, or filing suit under whistle blowers protection. I personally know of cases where contractor execs/PMOs tried to mess with test procedures or results. They lost every time ’cause an engineer or a scientist or a secretary turned them in.

try wolverene 360DM body armor..its the best..usa will not purchase it but everyone else around the world does..so what does that tell you.

The Dragon skin armor works effectively for the first, maybe second shot, but it breaks extremely easily and has to be replaced after every few hits. Although we don’t want our soldiers hit it is more reliable to use the steel back-up plate because it will stop bullets longer and cheaper(even though the life of a soldier has no price). the military pours hundreds of thousands of dollars on soldiers to train them if it was better they would use it.

I watched the local swat team put 30 rounds of 5.56 into a dragonskin vest last weekend at the range. Not 1 round penetrated. Army’s testing labs are in somebody’s back pocket.

I’m amazed at the level of distrust shown by some in this debate. If you think your Army and USMC wants to get your guys killed over such a matter I suggest you leave the USA right now or check yourself into a facility because that kind of thinking is unpatriotic or insane. Over here we see the amount of money the USA spends on force and individual protection — sometimes to the detriment of the long term mission of winning the hearts and minds of the people whose streets you’re patrolling.

Here is a link to the Armored Mobility website footage for the multi-strike Tac3s sapi plate. I’ve seen testing for these plates in person. This plate can withstand over 80 .308 rounds from 10 feet away in the same plate. It took a 6th .308 in the SAME HOLE before back face penetration occured. AMAZING.

mms://wms.media.upstreamnetworks.com/15970–35205/AMITAC3Sa.wmv

The Army does do biased testing — it’s biased toward the requirements of the Soldier rather than that of the manufacturers. Dragonskin was tested by the Army the same way that IBA was tested. It doesn’t do the job. Period. End of story.

PV1 Nick Olesen March 19th, 2009 at 7:48 pm
The Dragon skin armor works effectively for the first, maybe second shot, but it breaks extremely easily and has to be replaced after every few hits. Although we don’t want our soldiers hit it is more reliable to use the steel back-up plate because it will stop bullets longer and cheaper(even though the life of a soldier has no price). the military pours hundreds of thousands of dollars on soldiers to train them if it was better they would use it.

Yah, because some PV1 really know anything about body armor, other than it sucks to wear. Since SOF told the Army to fuck off and has been using Dragon Skin for quite a while I think the Army should start fielding Dragon Skin in small quantities like it is with the Land Warrior system. We will quickly learn whether it really works or not.

It pisses me off to know that I’m not issued a vest that will stop that shrapnel from going into my side under my arm because of stupid politics. Damn near every major decision involves all sorts of politics. Who’s friends with who and who has how much money.

The “unclassified” test results show that Dragonskin is a superior protector that the standard issue body armour. Remember that Gen. Patreus’ (sic?) bodyguards wore Dragonskin rather than what the military had in the supply system. Cost is an issue, though, but my son’s life was worth more to me that the cost.
CWO3 Charles A. Roberts, USN (Ret.).

Michael Yon is a retired Special Forces veteran who has spent the past six years or so as an independent journalist who has embedded with American and British troops in Iraq, as well as writing from the front lines in Afghanistan. When he thinks the U.S. government is wrong, he forcefully says so. Regarding Dragonskin, he recently wrote:

“I paid approximately $4,000 for this body armor but would not recommend it to any buyer who plans to use it in combat. I do not like Dragon Skin for various reasons. The Dragon Skin is too heavy and also relatively difficult to wear. If you fall in the water with this body armor, I think you will drown before you can shed the Dragon Skin, or if you are trapped in tangled wreckage after an IED, you will have an extremely difficult time shedding the Dragon Skin. There is no quick release and it’s plain hard to get in and out of. I talked with a Special Forces soldier some months ago about body armor. His humvee was hit with an EFP and was burning. He said that if not for the quick release on his armor, he said he would have burned up.”

For more about him, go to: http://​www​.nytimes​.com/​2​0​0​8​/​0​1​/​2​1​/​b​u​s​i​n​e​s​s​/​2​1​i​r​a​q​b​l​o​g​g​e​r​.​h​t​m​l​?​_​r=1

17 million dollar guarantee? now that really made me lol. is that a bonded guarantee? wow… they should’ve just made it 1 billion, gagillion, fafillion, shabolubalu million illion yillion…yen.

If dragon skin was that good the wheel would never have been invented. Most of you guys sound like a bunch of disgruntle lobbyist to me. Apparently the Chief of Stall of the Army has made his choice, deal with it. And another thing, why is this mother talking to the Army about armor the Marines is or is not buying for their Marines? I think this Colin Clark fellow has got his topic of discussion mixed up. Heheheheeeeeeee Hoho!! thats funny.

I’d buy Dragon Skin. Looks good to me.

Let any manufacturer willing to WEAR the armor HIMSELF while Marines test it, come forth and get his armor tested! He can talk to us about how good it is AFTER he’s taken a dozen 7.62x39 FMJ from a dozen angles.

Anyone consider a combo of Dragonskin with the regular plates over the core body areas?

Intercepter Armor works great, But Dragon Skin works better, plus its lighter and more mobile, exactly what i need when im in a fire fight or on the move towards one, plus its better for you ground personel who have to carry all their gear long distances.

The amred forcezs have no incentive to protect the troops. The soldiers are already bought and paid for. Using the money stolen from the masses to keep soldiers alive who are already willing to die to keep the empire going is stupid. Instead to money is used by the politicians to enhance their own power.

Why dragon skin is being used by special forces? Why every secret services (Including american ) is using Dragon skin? Why CIA is using Dragon skin? Why Black Water is using it, Why Bitish, American, French, Israeli and German High oficers are using it as well? I know, you know it too, everybody knows it.
The problem of american military is that it’s too big business!!! The contracts are being signed for billions of dollars and nobody has enough balls and courage to cancel them. The Interceptor Vest will be worn for in next decade probably, because the contract says so. Period.
And if somebody will develop bether equipment than the army is using now, “experts” will prove that they are wrong for any cost possible.
It sound familiar especially when you remid your self of M16, which failed every independent testing but not US Army’s, the “Bradley”- the same story.
Don’t worry, shit happens to everybody. My country bought lately F16 (something about 50 of them) despite that they were totaly beaten by other offers ( Suchoi Su 27, Saab Grpien and French Mirages) they were approven because of the political issues, not common sence.
As i said, shit happens to everybody.

For reference, Colonel Karl Masters was one of the individuals involved. If you look into facts, you will find that he is a highly respected Special Forces officer who might have some personal experience in this field.
Many other SF soldiers have added their discrete condemnation to the DragonSkin product line.
The “lighter” Dragon Skin armor doesn’t begin to stack up to the Interceptor rig. And the Pinnacle product which can argue that it can is ~60–65 pounds or so, by itself, and still has problems.
The *theory* behind Dragon Skin is very sound, but this particular product is basically a run at getting a lucrative defense contract, and is little more then a marketing blitz.

By the way, Defense Review isn’t exactly an unbiased source on procurement issues, FYI.

What is the current status of the Pinnacle BA company??? Their website appears to be non-op…

I think the bottom line is that Dragon Skin seems to work well but is too risky for the Army to trust. It is a new and relatively unproven technology. It’s vulnerability to heat and angled shots seem to be the greatest cause of concern.

I don’t think there is really anything to worry about, if the Dragon Skin technology really is superior, it will soon be copied by other more mainstream manufacturers and our troops will start wearing it. Meanwhile, many soldiers report that the current system provides great protection.

I hate to say it, but those of you who are still saying that dragon skin is still better, you’re wrong. A friend of mine who wouldn’t heed the warnings from his NCO’s wore a thing of dragon skin into combat, and was killed when an insurgent shot him in the chest. The individual plates in dragon skin are partially held together by a glue like substance that, when exposed to high enough temperatures, melts and causes the individual plates to shift, leaving openings in the vest that are vulnerable. My friends wife recieved everything that he had bought himself, and not a week later, I was given it all from her. I made it my mission to find out what happened. After running with it myself while airsofting in 99 degree whether, i quickly realised that is what ruins it. Heat. We can’t let our brothers and sisters over there wear something that is going to do that. It’s a risk of there lives that should not be taken.

look it up on youtube, I saw some of thier test videos, anyhow, yeah, so IBA, woot, glad that your alive man,

dude, when did you asses that information? cuz when I tried looking at it, the guys there said they couldn’t find the linked page that you provided?

http://​www​.defensereview​.com/​d​e​f​r​e​v​-​s​e​e​s​-​t​e​s​t​-​dat

http://​www​.defensereview​.com/​d​e​f​r​e​v​-​s​e​e​s​-​t​e​s​t​-​dat

http://​www​.defensereview​.com/​d​e​f​r​e​v​-​s​e​e​s​-​t​e​s​t​-​dat

http://​www​.defensereview​.com/​d​e​f​r​e​v​-​s​e​e​s​-​t​e​s​t​-​dat

Having spent 16 years in the Army, i have to laugh at “they know whats best so if they think the body armor now is adequate it is.”

Army leadership knowing whats best, LOL.

“so don’t go double thinking everything your government tells you.” No, i would triple and Quadruple think ANYTHING my government tells me.

from the marine corps time this argument has been put to rest inforn of congress maybe in the future it will be ready.

Ban considered on Dragon Skin maker

Staff report
Posted : Thursday Jun 14, 2007 14:40:04 EDT

Air Force Materiel Command recommended Friday that the Air Force bar Pinnacle Armor Inc., the maker of Dragon Skin body armor, from signing new contracts with the U.S. government, CongressDaily reported.

Headquarters Air Force will review the recommendation and decide on a potential ban within several weeks, the report said.

The recommendation comes just days after it was revealed that the Air Force Office of Special Investigations is investigating the California-based manufacturer on allegations that it falsely claimed Dragon Skin vests were certified to a level of protection they did not possess.

Pinnacle has denied any wrongdoing.

OSI contracted to buy 590 Dragon Skin vests based on literature from and claims by the company, Douglas Thomas, executive director of OSI, testified June 6 on Capitol Hill.

The vests were delivered and fielded between October 2005 and January 2006 to deployed and deploying OSI agents, Thomas said.

Dragon Skin subsequently failed two tests conducted by the Air Force.

“In February 2006, we issued a stop order/immediate discontinue message to all our personnel, which basically says stop using them … and send them back to headquarters,” said Capt. Christine Millette, an OSI spokeswoman.

On May 11, 2006, OSI received verification from the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center that the type of Dragon Skin vests the Air Force purchased had not been tested or certified to National Institute of Justice standards, Thomas said.

“That was a big surprise because that’s one of the reasons we purchased the vests,” he said, adding that the vests received by OSI were clearly and falsely marked NIJ Level III.

“In May 2006, OSI opened a joint criminal investigation with [Defense Criminal Investigative Service] for false [National Institute of Justice] certification on the vest and false representation of its capabilities,” Thomas said. “In June 2006, we tested the vest again. It failed.”

The claim made by Pinnacle “is a serious fraudulent claim,” said Lt. Gen. Ross Thompson, military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology.

Meanwhile, military officials, lawmakers and industry professionals continue to debate whether Pinnacle’s vests outperform the military’s Interceptor armor.

Murray Neal, chief executive officer of Pinnacle, joined Thomas, Thompson and representatives from the other services June 6 in front of the House Armed Services Committee. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., the committee chairman, questioned Pinnacle about its claim, which was placed on the vests and dated April 14, 2006.

“I have in front of me a later letter from the Department of Justice dated Dec. 20, 2006,” Skelton said. “What I find to be interesting is that this attachment to the [body armor] is dated April 14, 2006, and the actual certification is Dec. 20, 2006. … this is a serious discrepancy of making an assertion months before it actually came to pass.”

NIJ has a body armor testing program to “enhance the confidence of public safety agencies and officers,” said Jonathan Morgan, deputy director of the institute.

Pinnacle has submitted seven models of Dragon Skin-based armor to NIJ since May 2006, Morgan said. The company resubmitted two of the seven models after inconclusive results. Of those nine submissions, five failed to comply with NIJ standards, one passed, two were found to be inconclusive and one is pending, Morgan said.

The Army will test Dragon Skin vests — along with products from any other bidder — if the company submits its product to a request for proposals that’s open until late July, Thompson said. The Army will look at any offers from manufacturers who believe they can improve on the enhanced small-arms protective inserts and enhanced side ballistic inserts now worn by soldiers, Thompson said.

Neal said all he wants is a fair test for his product.

“The bottom line for me … is that Dragon Skin has been verified as the best body armor in the world,” he testified. “Therefore, all we ask is for a third-party independent testing of Dragon Skin at a facility that has Office of the Secretary of Defense and Department of Testing and Evaluation oversight.”

Lawmakers grilled Neal and Philip Coyle, a senior adviser at the Center for Defense Information, about a test, commissioned by NBC TV, that the news agency said shows Dragon Skin is superior to the Interceptor armor being worn in combat. Coyle served as a witness for the NBC test.

The NBC report, which aired May 20, prompted lawmakers to call the hearing, which included witnesses from the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy.

Lawmakers called for another test to put the Dragon Skin-Interceptor debate to rest, but they did not seem convinced by Neal’s testimony. They spent more than three hours questioning him about the ability of Dragon Skin, and his assertions that a May 2006 Army test of his product was manipulated to favor Interceptor.

Coyle wasn’t spared, either. After testifying that the NBC test clearly showed Dragon Skin was superior to Interceptor, Coyle conceded, after being questioned repeatedly by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the committee’s ranking member, that Dragon Skin is “not ready for prime time.”

The Army — along with the other services — stands by Interceptor and the May 2006 Army test that showed Interceptor outperforming Dragon Skin, he said.

“Before the testing was halted, the Dragon Skin vest suffered 13 of 48 first– or second-round shot complete penetrations, failing four of eight initial subtests,” Thompson said. “The bottom line is that the Dragon Skin vest did not stop the bullets.”

Staff writers Michelle Tan and Erik Holmes contributed to this report

if you people didnot test dragon skin your self or did not see other people test it and know all of the details why are you saying information that you do not know if it is true if you dont think dragon skin is good mabie you should test it for your self.

I heard that it was recalled because the glue that held the scales together melted in the desert heat over seas. All the plates just slide to the bottom of the vest. But I have seen many tests where it stood up to over 50 armor piercing rounds, 5.56 and 7.62. And they put the vest on top of a grenade, detonated it, and there was no penetration. Sure the guy would be dead from the shock, but it still stopped the shrappnel. The one thing that I don’t know about though is if the scales will stop rounds from a sharp angle. Maybe rounds can find there way between the scales. I don’t know.

Unfortunatley those who have not survived are not here to give there opinion. I am very happy the standard issue vest has saved lives thats what it is supposed to do. The question is dragon skin better and was it tested fairly?

I have watched several videos where dragon skin took over a hundred hits and did not fail so please explain that.

Actually, even the creator of the body armor which is currently used by the marines admitted that dragon skin is clearly superior. I have contacted Murray Neal in freson , California. A full torso rap can run for about 4000 dollars with additional straps and groin protection. Yes, I know in the military they pay you jack squat, but over here the police departments are paying an average of 65,000 a year; more than enough to replace the armor. For me cost is not an issue, neither is that “angled bullet shot or delamination crap”. Do some research, even the generals in iraq have chosen to use dragonskin while soliders are using the traditional plate armor made by pointblank body armor.

THE US, HAS A CONTRACT WITH POINTBLANK BODY ARMOR, that’s the main reason why soliders are not getting dragonskin. It really is all politics. My friend just got back from iraq, he was a medic and yes, he used dragonskin.
–vick

A fellow in my shop got hit with an IED the current plate stoped all the major pices. If they actualy made dragon skin in removable sections like the current sapi’s it would be nicer. a little more tests and modifications and it would be nice to be able to move in my MTV

It’s all about the money money money. As much as we love our country we can’t seem think or believe that there are some in power who would not want to spend the money they should to keep lives safe. The dragon skin armor was rejected due to a test, by the army, in which the plates supposedly dislodged due to the heat. The same test was conducted by two other parties and past. “Classified” is used as a tool to hide information or keep certain rules in play, such as maintaining low cost. Do the math and compare current armor used by the military and the cost of dragon skin.

Dragon Skin itself is heavier than Interceptor, but there are alternate designs (not made by the people making DS) that are lighter.

Either way, the biggest problem with DS is that it fails when exposed to desert temperatures, and the disks slip down, leaving large gaps where there is no protection at all.

if it’s so superior than dragon skin then why does the military have the specs of the dragon skin classified and not the interceptor,fact is they could use the dragon skin but replace the ceramic plates it has with the new Defend-X plates which would put the overall weight under 20lbs

and u also realize the owner of interceptor has stated in national news that dragon skin is supperior than his interceptor

you can’t be more wrong,your just towing the army lie,even the owner of IBA has stated he conducted the same tests on the dragon skin that he did on his own vests and his tests are the same ones conducted by the army,heck the owner and inventor of IBA is a retired Marine Col. and he stated dragon Skin was far superior than the IBA.The army revoked all dragon skin use because it said it failed tests but they sent that memo out 2 months before the tests were even conducted..care to explain

it was the owner and inventor of the IBA,you know the vests they currently use,who was 1 of the people just after the dragon vests came out in the media to say that the dragon was far superior than his own IBA and he would know he’s a retired Marine Col. and inventor of IBA…

but when the inventor and owner of IBA who also happens to be a retired Marine Col comes out and says the dragon is superior than his own vests that would suggest that the IBA is not the best there is..

and the tests results released by the army was false,the tests were done on the SOV2000 which is only rated a III+ body armor and not the IV+ SOV3000 and even then it passed 2 out of 7 of the level 4 armor…

Unfortunately for you, i was in a Stryker Brigade Combat Team, utilizing the Stryker ICV and all of its variants during OIF 07–08. It exceeds the safety and survivability of Humvees by a long shot. I have seen one take a 500lb EFP(explosively formed projectile) and keep almost everyone alive. I was in a Stryker when it took 3 hits from 120mm mortars, 1 glancing hit, 2 direct hits. It still survived, granted with 4 tires blown out, and one whole side of Slat armor blown off, it still made it back to base. A Humvee on the other hand is a damn death trap. Its only shortfalls is its fuel consumption and annoying “high idle” switch. Other than that there are no real flaws. If handled in the right hands its a war machine, quiet as a mouse, waiting to unleash hell on an entire city, like Sadr City and Baquaba.

Anyway, getting back to the Dragonscale armor issue, use what the Army, Marines, etc gives you. Its for a simple reason, not increased profits; its there to save your damn life!! Until a unanimous agreement comes out that Dragonscale armor is safe.….use what your given.

more than likely the military knows dragon skin works better im almost postive that the reason thay dont want any regluar military personal for example front line infintry is that who ever thay we the U.S. is fighting thay dont want some one to be captured ie killed wearing the best body armor tek in the world and have the copy it and have somthing better than our boys

I wore the interceptor body amor on tour and anybody adding steel plates has to be crazy. I’m short and stocky and it took all of enery to go patrol with that Sh**t. I was completely spent by the end of the day. I trust the Army the DoD and its testers with my life. If they say Dragon skin does not work it does not work. They are getting people to end-run the DoD so they could sell their body amour to people who can barely afford it

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