US Army explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians have been testing the service’s next-generation bomb suit, which features better sensors and flexibility than its present protective suits.
Being tested at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, the new suit reportedly has improved range of motion, reduced weight and center of gravity due to its Modular Scalable Vest. Its helmet is also reportedly more comfortable, allows better airflow, and has built-in lighting.
“The [next-generation advanced bomb suit] provides greater comfort and mobility for EOD personnel when mitigating explosive threats,” Staff Sgt. Gregory Meckel said in a press release.
The bomb suit also includes 360-degree ballistic protection and thermal capability due to its modular sensor suite.
Addresses Need for New Bomb Suits
In 2013, Allen Vanguard official Rob Reynolds explained that an EOD soldier faces several threats during a blast, including overpressure, fragments flying from the explosive device, flame and flash from the explosion, and concussive injuries.
He explained that it has taken a lot of research and development to make a suit that protects a soldier from all blast threats. He said the military has kept improving the suit to address these threats.
“The Army needs a new and dramatically improved bomb suit with reduced weight and bulk to allow the EOD soldier to maneuver more effortlessly in tight or restricted mobility areas while maintaining both balance and dexterity,” according to a pre-solicitation written in 2017.
Sgt. 1st Class Eric Thom of the 184th Ordnance Battalion remarked that developers continue eliciting feedback from those who have tried the blast suit, explaining that there is still the need for a “few more tweaks” in the suit’s design.