TTG, let me know if I am stepping out of line or if I am wrong on any of this
Both versions of the CIRAS are on eagle's webpage. Go to the "online store", then to either "MOLLE platforms" or "new products" (they are listed in both spots). The main differences between the two versions are the external cumberbund design and the location of the cut away release. These vests were designed for certian SOCOM units and have only recently (as in the past few weeks) been available for civilians. These vests are carriers only, both soft armor and plates woul have to be supplied seperatly. Because these were designed for the military, and they alredy have a bunch of SPEAR/BALCS soft armor and plates (different then the interceptor vests issued to non SOCOM troops in the sandbox), it was designed to use the armor already in the system. As a civie, the soft armor can be dificult and expensive to get (Point Blank is 6-9 months out for civies as of three weeks ago). The plates can be expensive, depending on protection and wieght, as well. I have seen good ones going for more then $1000 per plate. The plates do seem to be easier to get ahold then the soft armor of though. Soft armor for Paraclete RAV's will fit, but not prefectly.
All that being said, you may be asking yourself why to drop this much coin on something that you will be into $1500-$2000 at the low end before it is ready to go? Well, the Point Blank FSBE could be thought of as a Gen 1, MOLLE, releasable armor carrier. Good quality, simple, sturdy, all around good to go. The Paraclete RAV could be thought of as the Gen 2 and the standard that all others are measured against. It still is a great design, but there are some issues, most notably the cumberbund sagging when fully loaded. The CIRAS is coming in at Gen 3 plus. I think it will be THE standard for a time to come. It addresses the cumberbund issues and provides good manuverability. What it comes down to is that this carrier is for one of two people, niether of wich will have a problem paying for the best. The first is the professional end user that relys on his or her gear life and death situations. This could be a civilian contractor in the sandbox, a soldier looking to upgrade or our local heros in Law Enforcment. The other person that will appreciate the quality is the person that will wear it for personal enjoyment and wants that latest high-speed-low-drag gear. Either of these types will be well served by this rig.
Now, after all that, let me tell you where I am coming from on the issue. I have been using both a Point Blank Interceptor vest and FSBE for a few years now. I have used a RAV a few times including some range work. I have NO personal experiance with a CIRAS. All the information that I just post has come from first hand experiance of people that I have a great deal of respect for when it comes to professional tactical gear experiance. My CIRAS should be shipped out later on this week and I will edit out anything that is not true, but I honestly don't see that happening.
ETA-I forgot to clarify, alone, there is no balistic protection. All balistic protection is a function of what type of armor you chose to use. Anything from none up to level IV (the highest NIJ rating there is).
Also, I have no affiliation with TTG (until a week ago I had never herd of them) except that I ordered my CIRAS from them and have been VERY impressed with the service this far.