November 22, 2017
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Tough protection
Modern soldiers and advanced body armor

For long, ceramics has been the material of choice for creating body armor. It is strong and it is lighter than steel. But it is just as rigid and does not lend itself to contours of vulnerable parts of the body without severely restricting movement especially required in close-quarter battles.

Things are about to change radically with the creation of a material that hardens on being hit thereby, largely, absorbing the impact of a bullet of the Draganov caliber which is a benchmark set by the US National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

Hitherto, “bulletproof jackets” (put in inverted comma advisedly) because except for the torso, front and back, plates made out of ceramics or steel are either inserted as adjuncts just before an expected battle or worn as part of the uniform adding to the weight a soldier has to bear along with his weapon and life-saving water, food and ammunition.

The American soldiers in Afghanistan are burdened with equipment weighing up to 100 lbs and the
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