BAE Systems is unveiling its all inclusive body armour system, called the Scalable Soldier Protection System (SSPS), at this year’s Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition. Designed to improve the way soldiers currently wear and utilize their protective equipment, SSPS is an integrated body armor system that is comprised of a soft armor vest, plate carrier and load bearing belt.
Applying technologies and designs developed from its internally funded Ultra Lightweight Warrior (ULW) program, BAE Systems designed SSPS to meet the US Army’s Soldier Protection Demonstration requirements. Because SSPS is modular, scalable and tailorable, within seconds, the vest can be transformed from a concealable configuration that provides solid protection in low-risk threat situations, to a full tactical vest required for high-risk missions.
Val Horvatich, director of Advanced Programs at BAE Systems’ Personnel Protection Systems business said that it’s not enough to just offer individual body armor components to our soldiers today. The individual components have to be able to work together as a system, and not get in the way of a soldier’s mobility, with SSPS, we’ve created a next generation and a true body armor system that not only enhances mobility and proper weight distribution, but allows soldiers to configure the system any way they want, to meet any requirements.
The technologies incorporated into SSPS include new lightweight materials, a soft armor package that is lighter in weight than current offerings, and a quick-release mechanism that decreases donning and emergency doffing time. The system itself can be configured into four primary configurations, including: Concealable, Concealable with Plate Carrier, Stand-Alone Plate Carrier and Tactical.
The SSPS also has a load-bearing and stabilizing feature that better distributes and repositions weight from the shoulders to the hips.
“When used, the load-bearing and stabilizing feature aids in better distributing the weight of the vest and plate carrier over the hips, allowing for the effective and adjustable transfer of weight from the shoulders to the hips,” said Horvatich. “This results in immediate removal of excess strain from the shoulders, greatly reducing fatigue and performance degradation.”
Another unique feature of SSPS is that BAE Systems developed a female version of the system, specifically designed to deliver the same ballistic protection, while improving comfort, fit and shaping for women.
BAE Systems was awarded a contract from the US Army in June of this year for ten SSPS systems, which are undergoing testing and evaluation this fall.