MODERN ARMOR SITUATION (NOTE: Items in RED are awaiting verifiable documentation prior to web posting)
Historically, combat was predominantly small clan conflicts. As nations grew so did their armies until we peaked during WW1 with individual battles consisting of troops numbering in the thousands. As mankind has progressed into modern conflicts the size of engagements has gotten progressively smaller. It is projected that in the future most conflict will involve small unit engagements.
Most battle statistics revolve around what they call casualties. Casualties are usually defined as “wounds which result in fatalities” only. If however you were to define casualties as “any wound or wounds which result in soldiers no longer being able to function in full combat capacity” the numbers are much higher. Modern “body armor” is primarily torso and partial head armor because it is focused on addressing only the former definition of casualties.
According to presentations given by the Surgeon General of the Army to the US Senate the percentage of wounds received which resulted in fatality is 15%. The percentage which resulted in debilitating wounds was XX%. When combined the percentage of US soldiers who were either killed or wounded beyond the capacity to continue as a soldier was XX%. The cost to recruitment and train the replacements for these troops is over $75,000 per soldier. Even if averaged over the TOTAL number of active duty personnel the cost is $19,000 each which is far more than the cost of the armor we plan to produce.
Fatalities occur in combat. No armor is fully resistant to penetration. Our belief is that current standards of armor with the goal of preventing fatalities, but ignoring the defense of extremities which are predominantly subjected to less than fatal wounds is flawed in it’s reasoning. With our definition of causality as “any wound or collections of wounds which result in soldiers being no longer able to function in full combat capacity” the numbers of casualties in recent combat engagements is equal to the number of KIA (killed in action) plus the number of wounded who cannot return to full combat duty. Those numbers for the actions in Iraq alone are XXXXXXX. The cost of training soldiers today to full combat capabilities in the standard infantry is $XXXXXX, and the cost of special operations forces training is $XXXXX.
Protecting that human investment is the goal of this armor research program