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12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 6/5/2008 12:18:30 PM EST
I had lunch today with one of the original Interceptor designers. He said that Dragonskin got a raw deal from the Army. He said that they lied and that it is better than what they are issuing today.

I asked why they would lie. He said they would lie because replacing all the armor would would cost $2B up front and $300M per year.

Discuss...
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:20:44 PM EST
Dragonskin has a questionable history in their dealings from what I've heard.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:23:24 PM EST
Yeah right...

Because the issues with stopping 7.62x54, and with shrapnel potentially bypassing the layered plates had NOTHING to do with it, right?

It failed the tests, period...

But, like 'blended metal' ammo and hydrogen-electrolysis car gadgets, the legend lives on....
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:25:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:25:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Yeah right...

Because the issues with stopping 7.62x54, and with shrapnel potentially bypassing the layered plates had NOTHING to do with it, right?

It failed the tests, period...

But, like 'blended metal' ammo and hydrogen-electrolysis car gadgets, the legend lives on....


Could the fabric of reality survive blended metal ammo fired at Dragonskin armor?
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:26:15 PM EST
I think DragonSkin was a good design idea, but wasn't executed as well as it could've been.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:27:01 PM EST
Simple...

the DOD does not always select the "best" gear but rather the one that meets the specs for the lowest cost...

IMHO the current system is better than "dragon skin"
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:27:20 PM EST
Thew army has a history of loading the deck on testing new equipment. Maybe you have all heard of the M-16?
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:28:52 PM EST



Originally Posted By Mattl:
Thew army has a history of loading the deck on testing new equipment. Maybe you have all heard of the M-16?


I lol'ed



Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:29:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mattl:
Thew army has a history of loading the deck on testing new equipment. Maybe you have all heard of the FAL


Fixed it for you .

Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:30:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mattl:
Thew army has a history of loading the deck on testing new equipment. Maybe you have all heard of the M-16?
Maybe, but in this case, Dragonskin failed to perform AFTER the manufacturer got past refusing to provide the requisite number of samples for testing.

Dragonskin may have worked exactly as advertised, but at twice the weight and twice the price, that doesn't make it better than the current gear.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:31:47 PM EST
I want to see dragonskin tested by low oblique shots.

you know, where it is weakest, not direct shots where it is strongest.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:33:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By Cabby:
I had lunch today with one of the original Interceptor designers. He said that Dragonskin got a raw deal from the Army. He said that they lied and that it is better than what they are issuing today.

I asked why they would lie. He said they would lie because replacing all the armor would would cost $2B up front and $300M per year.

Discuss...


Smells like bullshit.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:43:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By cobrasks:

Originally Posted By Mattl:
Thew army has a history of loading the deck on testing new equipment. Maybe you have all heard of the FAL


Fixed it for you .





That was just protectionist mentallity. To my knowledge the FAL never failed to perform, Mil brass just wanted a welfare contract for Springfield Armory and a U.S. made weapon.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:47:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2008 12:52:48 PM EST by Gamma762]
All body armor is a trade-off of size, weight, stiffness/flexibility, comfort, etc versus protection.

Dragon skin AKAIK trades off some protection for the ability to better cover a larger percentage of the user, and for greater flexibility and comfort.

"Better" to the Army is in whoever/however the specs are written.

"Better" in the real world is how effectively it mitigates the prevalent threats, which may or may not have anything to do with how the specs are written. As an example, if one guy sustains injuries from a 7.62x54 round that interceptor might have stopped, but in exchange 10 fewer serious injuries are sustained from IEDs, or 7.62x39 strikes to areas left unprotected by the interceptors then dragon skin would be "better" IMO. In that example, being a slave to the 7.62x54 spec is detrimental to overall protection (not saying its true).

IMO when body armor became a media & political cause célèbre, it's fair and practical selection and usage became impossible.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:54:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By Gamma762:

IMO when body armor became a media & political cause célèbre, it's fair and practical selection and usage became impossible.



Truer words were probably never spoken.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:54:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2008 12:56:18 PM EST by Max_Mike]

Originally Posted By Gamma762:
All body armor is a trade-off of size, weight, stiffness/flexibility, comfort, etc versus protection.

Dragon skin AKAIK trades off some protection for the ability to better cover a larger percentage of the user, and for greater flexibility and comfort.

"Better" to the Army is in whoever/however the specs are written.

"Better" in the real world is how effectively it mitigates the prevalent threats, which may or may not have anything to do with how the specs are written. As an example, if one guy sustains injuries from a 7.62x54 round that interceptor might have stopped, but in exchange 10 fewer serious injuries are sustained from IEDs, or 7.62x39 strikes to areas left unprotected by the interceptors then dragon skin would be "better" IMO. In that example, being a slave to the 7.62x54 spec is detrimental to overall protection (not saying its true).


If dragon skin killed or incapacitated 10 people due to heat stroke due from increased weight/load for everyone it might save if the glue did not melt in the heat would be dragon skin "better".

There is more to this than stopping x,y,z the troops already say they are hampered by the weight of current body armor and some of you want to pile more weight on, a lot more.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:55:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mattl:

Originally Posted By cobrasks:

Originally Posted By Mattl:
Thew army has a history of loading the deck on testing new equipment. Maybe you have all heard of the FAL


Fixed it for you .





That was just protectionist mentallity. To my knowledge the FAL never failed to perform, Mil brass just wanted a welfare contract for Springfield Armory and a U.S. made weapon.

The FAL was originally made in a .280 caliber round that was quite close to the
6.5/6.8 stuff we're tinkering with now .
It was my understanding that for the initial tests they told FN that they had to change the rifle to shoot 7.62 X 51 mm 3 days prior to the test .
They didn't even have stats for the new round before that .
They wound up getting ammo samples something like less then a day from the tests.

The M-14 was made to shoot that calibre ,and outperfomed it .

That's what I would call a rigged test .
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:57:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2008 12:57:52 PM EST by Cabby]

Originally Posted By lokt:

Originally Posted By Cabby:
I had lunch today with one of the original Interceptor designers. He said that Dragonskin got a raw deal from the Army. He said that they lied and that it is better than what they are issuing today.

I asked why they would lie. He said they would lie because replacing all the armor would would cost $2B up front and $300M per year.

Discuss...


Smells like bullshit.


Not BS. I had no Idea who this guy was. We were attending a presentation by a company that makes a number of armor products (vehicle, barrier, glass). This guy happened to be sitting next to me.



HASC Suppressed Statement of Col. Jim Magee, USMC (Ret.), for June 6 Hearing: Col. Magee, an Expert Witness Favorable to Pinnacle Armor's Dragon Skin, was the lead designer/developer of Modular Body Armor, the original Developmental Name for what became "Interceptor" Body Armor

Editor's Note:

Jim Magee, Colonel, USMC (Ret.), was one of the two witnesses prepared to present favorable testimony for Pinnacle Armor's Dragon Skin® to the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the 6th of last month, but he was unable to be present due to the short notice he was given. Gen. Wayne Downing, US Army (Ret.) was the second such potential witness similarly treated. (Sadly, Gen. Downing passed away unexpectedly just a few days ago. May the soul of this great American patriot-soldier Rest In Peace. He was the most uniformly respected four-star flag officer that I can recall from my 44 years of "paying attention," and while I don't recall discussing him with Hack, I have to think Gen. Wayne Downing is as close to the antithesis of Hack's detested Perfumed Prince as we're likely to see for a long time.)

The hoopla that surrounded this HASC hearing vainly tried to conceal the ugly truth -- the hearing was nothing more than the latest Washington version of a star chamber, and was clearly a desperate attempt to try and refute the devastating results of NBC News's side-by-side ballistic tests in Germany of Level IV variations of Pinnacle Armor's Dragon Skin® on the one hand, and the other hand, the Army's Interceptor™ Body Armor (IBA). (Editor's Note: The Marine Corps' repackaged version of IBA, the Modular Tactical Vest (MTV), relies upon the same rigid plates for protection as does IBA -- it's the same window, with different colored curtains, regardless of the spin from MARCORSYSCOM at Quantico).

Col. Magee and Gen. Downing had been observers and technical advisors at the shoot-off in Germany. (The test was conducted at "ambient temperature," a temperature often encountered by America's Grunts.)

DefenseWatch has obtained a copy of Col. Magee's prepared statement as submitted to the HASC, but, not distributed by same.

This copy is presented below, and of all the blatant attempts that have been exposed to date of the Army's acquisition mafia and their enablers in the US Congress, to slant, distort, and misrepresent the facts regarding Dragon Skin's® superior performance in the "shoot-off" in Germany, this suppression of Col. Magees' prepared statement takes first prize -- so far.

Please read carefully Col. Magee's prepared statement, then read his curriculum vitae to judge for yourself his credentials and his expertise, and ask yourself why the HASC -- or is it just a few key "professional" staffers -- would be a party to the Army acquisition mafia's clumsy attempts to bury the truth about the demonstrated superiority of Dragon Skin® at the shoot off in Germany.

And get ready for some astounding news about an independent, honest "High temp" test of Dragon Skin® by the Aberdeen Test Center that will further weaken, if not destroy, the fabrications and lies presented about the "High temp" part of the May 2006 test of Dragon Skin® under the supervision of PEO-SOLDIER.

Semper fidelis,

Rog Charles

HASC Body Armor Inquiry, June 6, 2007
Background

Enclosure-a

Background

While President of Point Blank Body Armor (PBBA) in 1996, I led the PBBA design team that competed for and was awarded a contract by the US Army-Natick to design a new body armor system to replace the PASGT Flak Vest, the current issue to the US Armed Forces at the time.

The design and development period took almost two years and led to PBBA's first production contract for the Modular Body Armor (MBA), the original developmental name for what became the Interceptor™, and was grouped by the Army with the concurrent development of a soldier's load bearing system to ensure compatibility.

During this design and development period, from the preliminary MBA design to the final design for the production model, I served as the MBA Integrated Program Team Leader (IPT Leader), the key position in the prime contractor's Arthur D. Little, Inc.'s (ADL) integrated MBA/MLS {Modular Load Bearing System) design team for the MBA. I led the design and development of the MBA on a team of seven people, one of which was a Government representative, an apparel developer from US Army-Natick.

The MBA included both the soft body armor vest (with collar and groin protectors), and the hard armor, rifle bullet resistant, plates. PBBA provided numerous vest design iterations to meet Army and Marine Corps changing requirements, and SIMULA, Inc. provided the hard armor plate designs to meet Army-Natick specifications.

Once PBBA was awarded the first prod ction contract for MBA, I disaffiliated myself from PBBA, and assumed the presidency of another protective apparel company, but outside of the ballistic vest industry. I have since been the president of two other body armor companies in North America, ArmorShield, Inc. and Select Armor, Inc.

The issue at hand for the HASC relates to the superiority of Interceptor™ and a competitor, Dragon Skin®. While I have no relationship of any kind with Pinnacle Body Armor, the maker of Dragon Skin®, I believe that their technology is two generations ahead of the ten year-old Interceptor™ vest's technology, and would provide superior protection for American troops.

Design Interceptor HASC

HASC Body Armor Inquiry, June 6, 2007
Selection of Interceptor for Test

Enclosure-b.

Selection of Interceptor™ and ESAP for Test

My motivation, when asked to offer my opinions as a developer of the Interceptor™ was to provide my opinion that a body armor technology is available that I believe is two generations ahead of anything I had ever seen, and is superior to the 10 yr old technology we built into the Interceptor™ My history as the lead developer of the Interceptor™ is well known to those in the body armor industry, or know PBBA's and Arthur D. Little's (the prime contractor in the development of the vest for US Army-Natick and MARCORSYSCOM) history in this endeavor, or have access to the Modular Body Armor (MBA - the original name for InterceptorTM) records at PM Soldier or Natick.

The soft body armor Interceptor™ vest and the ESAPI plates were made by Protective Products International, (PPI) in Sunrise, Florida. Why did I pick PPI? Because I didn't want to be given (sold actually) "specially made for a test" vest and plates; I wanted a vest and plates off a production line from a company with military contracts; and, from a company which I trusted for their Quality Control to make a vest and plates that met the MilSpecs. The Interceptor™ and the ESAPI plates were brand new. In fact, the ESAPI was from a lot that was en route to the Marines with their new MTV vest (Interceptor's™ replacement for the Marines. The NBC News sponsored side-by-side tests were done at an Internationally renowned government lab in Germany because the Army told HP White and US Test Labs (as well as the Canadian lab) not to allow NBC News to conduct these tests, or "there would be repercussions."

The test protocols were NIJ's protocols, the certifier of body armor for the USA. Tests were conducted at a 30 degree oblique, as well as front-on, but those did not make the NBC News video coverage. The 30 degree oblique shot results were the same as the front-on: no penetrations and minimal back face deformation. The same results as the Interceptor™ with ESAPI.

In my opinion, a curved surface, replicating a human torso, would have shown Dragon Skin® to be superior as it is able to be body contoured. ESAPI plates are rigid, and are not as conformable. But, to avoid being accused of unfairly loading the tests in Dragon Skin's® favor, the lab stuck strictly with the NIJ protocols.

* The rounds tested were the Army's recommended test rounds, plus what the Army calls "emerging threat" rounds.
* Also fired were "emerging threat" rounds that have a hardened tungsten core at 3000 fps. The results were the faster the bullet, the less damage was inflicted on Dragon Skin®.
* The tests results show that the Interceptor™ with ESAPI performed very well; well above all Army requirements.
* Dragon Skin® just did better.

Interceptor for Test HASC

HASC Body Armor Inquiry, June 6, 2007
Next Steps

Enclosure-c.

Suggested Next Steps for HASC

The HASC should hear the Army representatives and Pinnacle`s representatives make their cases.

Then----the HASC should direct that the Army fund an independently conducted test at an impartial third party ballistic laboratory of a Dragon Skin® vest at a comparable NIJ Level of protection to the Interceptor™ with ESAPI plates.

The test would be conducted against Army provided standards, and the results witnessed by impartial third party observer experts. The results would be published to the HASC, only, for further release of the test results as the HASC determines.

Next Steps HASC

HASC Body Armor Inquiry, June 6, 2007
CV

Enclosure-d.

Curriculum Vitae - James G. Magee

Mr. Magee is a recognized expert on personnel protection systems and has been the president of three industry leading body armor manufacturers, Select Armor, Inc., ArmorShield, Inc. and Point Blank Body Armor, Inc. during the past decade. He was the principal designer of the US Army's Interceptor™ vest, the current generation of body armor worn by US Armed Forces personnel today. Perhaps Mr. Magee's most recognized achievement in the body armor field is that he brought Point Blank to a position of industry leader from Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in less than 12 months. After leaving Point Blank, Mr. Magee managed the Modular Body Armor program for the US Army's Prime Contractor for MBA, Arthur D. Little, Inc. During his presidency of Armorshield USA, Mr. Magee opened their Pennsylvania production facility, vastly expanded their US marketing, and won significant US military contracts for that firm. For Select Armor, Mr. Magee leads the company and specializes in optimizing our client's investment in personnel protection technologies and military training. He is an experienced and recognized subject matter expert for tailoring integrated. body armor and load bearing solutions for military and law enforcement optimizing their investments through effectiveness enhancement, TCO redaction, and component enhancing ballistics protection integration solutions. He is a consultant to NBC News on body armor issues, and has been published in Armed Forces Journal, the Marine Cops Gazette and the Washington Post on this and other military issues.

Prior to joining Select Armor, Mr. Magee was the President of HIPERTEX, Inc, a manufacturer of high output lightweight diesel engines for DARPA. He has served as the Vice President - Global Performance Solutions far META Group. In this capacity he established META's Worldwide Solutions Practice and assisted global government and commercial clients by developing unique solutions to address client's often complex business challenges. Mr. Magee has significant business and personal protection experience prior to joining META Group. He led GartnerGroup's Performance Management Practice for the Eastern half of the U SA for five years. At Gartner, Mr. Magee was the global leader in providing efficiency, effectiveness, cost and performance solutions for Fortune 1000 commercial clients as well as major Federal and state government agencies and clients.

Mr. Magee has been a senior operations analyst with Kapos Associates, Inc. (KAI, now part of L3Comm). His clients included The White House, the National Security Council (NSC), and The Atlanta Olympics, the federal departments of Defense, Army, Navy, and Treasury. While at KAI, Mr. Magee led teams that assessed the interoperability for the NSC including the command, control, computers and intelligence systems for the Atlanta Olympics, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the C4I3 of all of the military regional combatant commanders and their special operations components around the globe.

He served a full career in the Marines, retiring as a highly decorated infantry Colonel in the early 1990's after service as the Marine's special operations expert, and commander of the largest anti-terrorist organization in DOD, the Marine Corps Security Forces with 3440 Marines and Sailors at 82 sites in 16 countries.

Mr. Magee sits on the board of directors of two corporations in the national security arena, Select Armor, Inc. and Archangel LLC. He was the 2002 recipient of the National Defense Industrial Association's (NDIA) Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the Nation's ability to wage special operations. Mr. Magee lives in tine suburbs of Atlanta, GA. with his wife, Carole. They have three grown children.

Education:
MBA Studies: Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia
MA Equivalent: NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy
BS: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

CV Magee
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:58:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By Gamma762:
All body armor is a trade-off of size, weight, stiffness/flexibility, comfort, etc versus protection.

Dragon skin AKAIK trades off some protection for the ability to better cover a larger percentage of the user, and for greater flexibility and comfort.

"Better" to the Army is in whoever/however the specs are written.

"Better" in the real world is how effectively it mitigates the prevalent threats, which may or may not have anything to do with how the specs are written. As an example, if one guy sustains injuries from a 7.62x54 round that interceptor might have stopped, but in exchange 10 fewer serious injuries are sustained from IEDs, or 7.62x39 strikes to areas left unprotected by the interceptors then dragon skin would be "better" IMO. In that example, being a slave to the 7.62x54 spec is detrimental to overall protection (not saying its true).


If dragon skin killed or incapacitated 10 people due to heat stroke due from increased weight/load for everyone it might save if the glue did not melt in the heat would be dragon skin "better".

There is more to this than stopping x,y,z the troops already say they are hampered by the weight of current body armor and some of you want to pile more weight on.


+1

Interceptor with a fighting load and both plates is damn heavy.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 12:59:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By cobrasks:

Originally Posted By Mattl:
Thew army has a history of loading the deck on testing new equipment. Maybe you have all heard of the FAL


Fixed it for you .



The M-16 is still in wide service the FAL is being phased away... the world came to the M-16 type concept and walked away from the FAL type concept... so now exactly how wrong was the US Military.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 1:39:45 PM EST
I think the european nations would have stuck with the FAL if not bullied into 5.56 by STANAG. our european allies were pissed that less than 10yrs after they retooled to 7.62x51 we were ramming 556 down their throats.

I almost bought the dragonskin but its just too damn heavy. probably heavier than an MTV (that uses interceptor penls and plates) with the side-sapi's installed
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 1:44:26 PM EST
I believe it failed as it is a scale type armor that when you bend it creates unarmed gaps between all the plates
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 1:45:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By DvlDog:
I think the european nations would have stuck with the FAL if not bullied into 5.56 by STANAG. our european allies were pissed that less than 10yrs after they retooled to 7.62x51 we were ramming 556 down their throats.

I almost bought the dragonskin but its just too damn heavy. probably heavier than an MTV (that uses interceptor penls and plates) with the side-sapi's installed


Who bullied Brazil who is now producing a 5.56 × 45 FAL/M-16 Frankenrifle.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 1:46:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By crurifragium:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Yeah right...

Because the issues with stopping 7.62x54, and with shrapnel potentially bypassing the layered plates had NOTHING to do with it, right?

It failed the tests, period...

But, like 'blended metal' ammo and hydrogen-electrolysis car gadgets, the legend lives on....


Could the fabric of reality survive blended metal ammo fired at Dragonskin armor?



Blended metal ammo used in a drive-by from a water-powered car against dragon-skin clad targets FTW!
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 1:48:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Yeah right...

Because the issues with stopping 7.62x54, and with shrapnel potentially bypassing the layered plates had NOTHING to do with it, right?

It failed the tests, period...

But, like 'blended metal' ammo and hydrogen-electrolysis car gadgets, the legend lives on....


The M-16 failed tests, too.

Period.

Bring back the M-14! We can't have test-failures!
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:04:29 PM EST
When it comes to body armor in combat situations, where the bad guys are firing primarily rifle rounds in your direction, you're really going to need rifle protection (i.e., heavy plates) to stop them. You can piss and moan about the weight all you all day long, but if you want to stop those rounds you're most likely going to encounter, you need the plates.

Standard soft armor will stop frags and pistol rounds. It is useless against rifle calibers.

So perhaps the issue with Dragon Skin is that the plates are incorporated into the vest, and is ultimately not an add-on package that you can put on and take off as required like the with bulky plates of Interceptor. But as I mentioned, if you want to stop the rifle threat, you're going to have to lug the extra weight, regardless. And Dragon Skin offers better coverage.

As is typically the question with body armor, you have to ask yourself what is more important ... protection or mobility?

I guess if depends on the situation/mission.
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