Better Protection for US Marines

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As part of an effort to increase the performance of US Marines on the battlefield, their units will be equipped with a lighter and better-fitting plate carrier body armor offering a 25% weight savings over the current vests.

The new Plate Carrier Generation III will go first to infantry and other combat-arms Marines and then to supporting units.

Full operational capability is expected to be achieved by fiscal 2023, according to a recent Marine Corps Systems Command announcement.

Vertical Protective Apparel was selected to manufacture up to 225,886 of the vests.

In 2016, the prototype was tested by Marines wearing it while running through obstacle courses and taking a 15-kilometer hike. The Marines completed the courses faster and appeared better conditioned when wearing the newer plate carrier design, it states.

Program officials worked with industry to remove excess bulk from the legacy plate carrier to reduce weight and give Marines more freedom of movement for handling weapons.

The material of the body armor reduces water absorption, and designers shaved bulk from the vest by cutting out excess fabric from around the shoulders. It fits closer to the body, increasing protection and decreasing the risk of injury because of improper fit, according to