by David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
All photos and video contained in this article were shot by DefenseReview.com, and are copyrighted. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these photos. The first four photos (top four photos) and both video clips embedded below were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability). The last two photos (bottom two photos) were shot with an Apple iPhone 4S smartphone with 8MP (8-megapixel) still camera and 1080p HD video camera.
March 18, 2012
ArmorWorks recently introduced the new ArmorWorks Modular Plate Carrier (MPC) minimalist lo-pro (low-profile) tactical armor plate carrier/military body armor system with proprietary super-strong Hypalon-type polymer shoulder straps and PALS/MOLLE (Pouch Attachment Ladder System/MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment)-replacement slots/webbing at SHOT Show 2012, and Alex Gallo of the WarriorWorks armor design and development was kind enough to take DefenseReview (DR) through the whole system at the show. The embedded videos below that DR shot at SHOT tell pretty much the whole story, but we’ll elaborate on it real quick, since the information available on the system is so far extremely limited on the web.
I wrote “Hypalon-type” above because while the new high-strength polymer material looks and feels similar to Hypalon, it’s actually proprietary to ArmorWorks and not DuPont Hypalon, according to Gallo. The new proprietary and super-strong material, which feels rubbery, is used throughout the MPC, and is most noticeable on the shoulder straps and “non-MOLLE MOLLE” (Defense Review’s term) accessory mounting slots, which the MPC utilizes in place of traditional Cordura nylon PALS/MOLLE webbing. The only thing he told DR about it is that it’s “similar to what’s used in Zodiac inflatable boats. [It’s] extremely high-strength, flame-resistant [FR], anti-fungal and [anti-IR (Infrared)]”, and hydrophobic, meaning it’s water-resistant (or perhaps actually waterproof)/water-repellant. Gallo claims that the new material allowed the ArmorWorks WarriorWorks team to cut roughly 25% of the weight by eliminating both traditional MOLLE webbing and bar tacks, while simultaneously exceeding the military specification (MILSPEC) for MOLLE/bar tack pull weight threshold. In the video below, you can see Gallo demonstrate the material’s strength with his own impromptu pull test by stepping on the material with the heal of his boot and pulling on the attached Cordura Nylon pull tab as hard as he can without being able to “rip out” the material.
The new material is available in the color shown in the video clips below (whatever that is), Coyote Brown, and Ranger Green, and ArmorWorks can do special color runs for customers as needed. DR assumes ArmorWorks is capable of printing pretty much any color, including military camouflage patterns like Crye MultiCam combat camouflage, Hyde Definition PenCott combat camo (PenCott-Badlands, PenCott-GreenZone, PenCott-Sandstorm and PenCott-Snowdrift), Kryptek LEAF/Camo Technologies 3D combat camo (Kryptek Nomad™, Highlander™, Mandrake™, Yeti, Urban, and Typhon), or Orion Design Group (ODG) ODTDM-2 combat camo.
The ArmorWorks MPC’s removable/modular 2.5-liter SOURCE Hydration tactical hydration system/tactical water bladder system is integrated into the carrier, keeping the MPC low-profile. The MPC is scalable up or down through the use of a cumberbund, and is configurable for the use of SPEAR BALCS (Body Armor Load Carriage System) or MBAV (Modular Body Armor Vest) soft armor panels/inserts and anti-rifle hard armor plates. The Hypalon-type proprietary material on the shoulder straps can be “customized out” by perforating it in any configuration for different connection points required by military Special Operations Forces (SOF) units.
The MPC is “completely modular”. The operator/user can field-replace just about every sing part of the MPC and the system is ambidextrous in that it allows the user to go lefty or righty with any accessory component, like the Source Hydration drinking tube mounting point, for example, or cable routing. Speaking of cables, there will be a quick-release version of the MPC.
Finally, ArmorWorks is developing a “revolutionary” load-bearing/weight-distribution system connecting the MPC to the battle belt/combat belt, taking a significant amount of weight off the shoulders and transfering it to the hips.
All in all, the ArmorWorks Modular Plate Carrier tactical armor carrier system looks good. Since it’s brand new and as-yet un-proven in battle, the proof will be in the proverbial pudding. DefenseReview will try to find out if there is any military assaulter/operator feedback on the MPC yet, and do a follow-up on it, at some point. In the meantime, enjoy the videos below.
Defense Review forgot to ask Mr. Gallo why he and his team decided to go with a SOURCE Hydration modular tactical hydration system/tactical water bladder system instead of a CamelBak system, but we’ll try to find that out, too.
Editor’s Note: Soldier Systems published a couple of short blurbs (with photos) on the MPC during and shortly after SHOT Show.
Company Contact Info:
305 N. 54th St.,
Chandler, Arizona, 85226
Email Contact Page: http://www.armorworks.com/contact/
Address: 7 Hatnufa St.
Tirat Carmel, 30250
Email Contact Page: http://source-military.com/contact-form.php
ADS, Inc (SOURCE Distributor)
621 Lynnhaven Pkwy. Suite 400
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Toll Free: 800-948-9433
Alpha OneSource (SOURCE Distributor)
2034 Exploration Way
Hampton VA 23666
Eagle Industries Unlimited (SOURCE Distributor)
1000 Biltmore Drive
Fenton, MO 63026
London Bridge Trading Company, Ltd (SOURCE Distributor)
London Bridge Road 585
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Tactical Distributors, LLC (SOURCE Retailer)
476 Viking Drive, Suite 101
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Tactical Tailor (SOURCE Retailer)
2916 107th St. NW
Lakewood, WA 98499
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