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Dragon skin body armor what do you think?

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Sounds like an Army smokescreen, perhaps to cover up the issuing of Dragon Skin, or perhaps to cover up a even better version of Dragon Skin being developed.

I very much doubt it that it was a smokescreen. The army wouldn't want to attract so much attention if it was trying to issue the dragon skin quietly to troops in the frontline.

The CEO of Pinnacle armor, dragon skin body armor maker said plainly that the army test result of the dragon skin armor was a fraud. The army lied that the dragon skin armor was a failure.

Furthermore the dragon skin armor was banned from military use before the army tested it and then claimed that the armor was a failure compared to the current interceptor body armor. The result of the army test was against independent test conducted by the NBC among other tvs or tv shows.

Though the dragon skin armor is now banned, nine US army generals in Iraq along with their bodyguards and special forces are believed to have been using the dragon skin armor.

Why would those nine generals trust their life with the dragon skin body armor if it wasn't the best or at least significantly better than the interceptor body armor?

The fact that the army is banning the dragon body armor can be reasoned to only two possibilities:

1. The dragon skin body armor is a failure as what the army claimed.

2. The dragon body armor is much superior than the currently used body armor so if the two were compared one would throw the other without any doubt.

War is draining the economy we all know that but that means that war is an economy in itself.

People actually make money out from war.

I leave the rest to your imagination.

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Here we go again. I thought the issue was dead since, oh, two years ago. Apparently not.

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Here we go again. I thought the issue was dead since, oh, two years ago. Apparently not.

It's been discussed? I didn't know that. But still two years is a long time. :)

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_--__[]KITT;162824']It's been discussed? I didn't know that. But still two years is a long time. :)

Maybe not here' date=' but the discussion is on since, uh, about day one of the ground offensive into Iraq, 2003. My impression is, there's a manufacturer who couldn't make a deal with the army and isn't politically too well connected, so he tries to mobilize public opinion to change an army procurement decision. Maybe he's right, maybe not, but who are we to make an educated decision about it given that we don't know the specific army criteria for protection vests (where price and protection level are only two variables among many).

Ultimately it boils down to [i']belief - whom do you believe more, the Pentagon procurement system (hah, that was cheap, I know), or an entrepreneur with a vested interest in the matter (hmmmm...)

Point is, there hardly is a basis for a discussion, just the airing of faith-based statements. And since the Dragon Skin manufacturer is using the "wave the red shirt" technique one can hardly expect anything but a flame war.

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_--__[]KITT;162822']Why would those nine generals trust their life with the dragon skin body armor if it wasn't the best or at least significantly better than the interceptor body armor?

True, but when was the last time you saw a general mixing it up on purpose?

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the reason those generals use it, is because they don't move around as much as soldiers do.

its a good body armour, but again, expensive and heavy.

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the reason those generals use it, is because they don't move around as much as soldiers do.

its a good body armour, but again, expensive and heavy.

Bit like a Tank then?:biggrin::biggrin:

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I don't see what the big deal is, he can always make millions by selling them to police around the world. I guess that is tidly winks to the money he could make if the US Army adopts it as standard issue though... ahh, greed.

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No, he could make the square root of bupkis selling it to police. How many policemen (outside the occasional SWAT entry team) have any need whatsoever for level 3 or 4 armor capable of defeating high powered, steel-core AP rifle rounds? Mostly what they want is something light and easily worn for daily use, capable of stopping the most common threat: pistol caliber ammunition.

That said, the Army made a good call in many ways. There's too many points of failure in the Dragon Skin design, and I have no intention of wearing armor that has such abundant airspace between ballistic elements. I prefer the IBA design.

As it is, the IBA E-SAPI plates will stop any feasible threat weapon up to and including tungsten-cored .30-06. So unless the enemy's going to start using .50 cal as their primary weapon system, it's all academic... and since Dragon Skin won't stop that either, who cares?

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well, it seems like pinnacle are still making a big fuss:

http://www.pinnaclearmor.com/in-the-news.php

here's another report from a probably biased source:

http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csnews.cgi/csNews.cgi?command=viewone&id=18&database=Unlisted%202008.db

and some not so biased sources about procurement spending and dragonskin:

there's also the controversy over raytheon getting a contract to develop an active protection system similar to trophy or the AMAP-ADS already being fielded with the israeli and soon to be fielded with the german army.

Edited by dejawolf

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It's heavy? It didn't seem to be that heavy.

How many kg or pounds(not familiar with lbs) does that vest weigh?

Special forces wear them so it must not be that heavy.

If I were the Pinnacle CEO I would try selling the body armor to Middle east and European countries. If all else fails to China and Russia. Perhpas even getting a Russian national in the end. Smoking cigar at 10am at weekdays in a beautiful mansion near Moscow with 10 beautiful girls in the swimming pool. Oh yea. Forget the US army! lol

If the US army doesn't want to equip its soldiers with the best protection maybe other countries are interested.

And its not an argument based solely on faith but look at the clips that armor is not that heavy it could be lifted up single handedly without too much effort. It even looked very light to wear. And I'm sure the army could afford buying them to equip front line troops.

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There are several different variants with different protection levels.

Also, none of the test shows how the vests behave

- when wet

- when frozen

- when in high ambient temperatures

- after having gone through a series of climatic changes

They don't mention in the clips the actual weights either, and the comparative weight at similar protection levels.

I can give you the ultimate body armor - 1.5m of solid granite - if weight doesn't matter. Pinnacle is not open in their argumentation but presents only selected tid bits. It may be that the things that they don't mention meet the army criteria, but so far they have failed to make their case IMO. If it is true that the Level 4 vest is almost twice the weight of the current vest, the whole story could very well end right there.

Dismounts are overburdened with protection and equipment already, let alone issues like heat circulation/air flow in hot climates. What good is a body armor if it lets the soldiers collapse with heat stroke?

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well, here we have weight figures:

http://www.pinnaclearmor.com/body-armor/dragon-skin.php

dragonskin:

SOV-2000 lvl III west weights 7.5kg

inserts: 2.5kg

insert thickness 1 inch.

SOV-3000 lvl IV west weights 7.8kg

interceptor:

west: 3.8kg

lvl III: 7.4kg

SAPI:2x1.8kg (front and back)

lvl IV: 8.8kg

E-SAPI:2x 2.5kg(front and back)

full lvl IV with everything: 15.4kg

however for the interceptor to have full protection comparable to dragonskin, the torso

side plates, weighting 1kg must be included, so the SOV-3000 lvl IV equal interceptor west weights 9.8kg.

so i take back what i said before about the dragonskin being heavier. those figures was probably the fully equipped dragonskin with neck shoulder and groin protection.

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Ok, simple facts:

1) Dragon Skin is NOT made of some miracle material. I would wager EXCELLENT money that the ballistic plates are made of the same boron carbide ceramics that the IBA ESAPI is made from. Of course, their website doesn't actually HAVE any technical details like the plate thickness or material... of course not; then people could refute their ridiculous claims. They DO make an oblique reference to the plates being made of a ceramic, though, so we'll just have to assume it's boron carbide. Wikipedia says silica carbide; but it's not the most reliable source. Either way, I doubt silica carbide has appreciably better ballistic performance than boron carbide.

2) If making armor from the same material, then greater thickness= greater stopping power. Also, greater surface area covered with the same mass = thinner coverage. So, with the same material, if Dragon skin covers more, it protects less.

3) Since the ballistic panels are made from a boron carbide ceramic that stops bullets NOT through hardness and ductility like metallic armors, but rather via distributing the kinetic energy into breaking molecular bonds (essentially, ceramic armors stop bullets by absorbing the energy through shattering), then smaller plates become undesirable, as strikes near the edges will result in there being nowhere for the energy to "go", leading to a penetration. The EDGES of the ceramic are also the most vulnerable to impact damage. Ceramic body armor can be damaged by dropping it (like, say, if you hit the deck to avoid fire) and the smaller the plates, the more vulnerable edges there are, and the thinner they are, the more easily broken

4) Dragon skin is made up of small, multiple, overlapping hard plates. Any bullet striking one of the plates at a high angle of incidence can ricochet off that plate and travel BETWEEN two plates essentially unimpeded. The many-small-plate design is also going to transmit blunt trauma to the wearer much more readily than a solid plate will. There are also allegations that the adhesive method that attaches the plates into the vest weakens when exposed to high temperatures or mild solvents like diesel (of course, if I got diesel on my ESAPI, I'd get a replacement anyhow!)

5) Weight. Pinnacle is very sneaky on their webpage when describing their weight and coverage. Their level 4 armor "with large standard tactical front and back panel configuration weighs approximately 17.2 lbs. and varies depending on the level of coverage" (from Pinnacle webpage). Interesting. The Interceptor Ballistic Armor with SAPI front and back panels weighs 16.4 lbs. Also interesting, both those numbers are for a 12x10 inch coverage pattern front and back. Same protection level (though I have my doubts that Dragon Skin does provide that protection), same coverage area, 1 pound heavier. ...Upgrade to ESAPIs, and the IBA weight increases to 19.3 lbs, but is equivalent in (ACTUAL, OBSERVED) protection to Dragon Skin's (UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIM) level 5 armor protection. And... Pinnacle doesn't seem to have the weight of their level 5 posted anywhere. Sure, when you add the ESBI and ESAPI to the IBA, it weighs in at a hefty 27 lbs. Ok, but to get the same level of protection and the same coverage from Dragon Skin, how much would that weigh? Pinnacle doesn't even list how much their level 5 (with all-round protection) weighs.

Looking at the Pinnacle Armor website, they have a number of "impressive" test videos. Why impressive? Well, they shoot it with primarily 9x19mm and 7.62x39mm cartridges. Neither are particularly powerful, and the 7.62x39mm (AK47) actually delivers LESS kinetic energy to a target than 5.56x45mm does. I know, all the internet commando "experts" out there don't want to hear that an M16 bullet is actually more powerful than AK47 bullets, but if you look up the real data, it carries more kinetic energy at any range beyond about 30 meters. .....What really cinched the tests being rigged, though, was that they had ONE high-power cartridge test video, against 7.62x51mm (7.62 NATO). If you look VERY closely, you'll see they declare it as .308 M80 ball, 2600 FPS. M80 ball is a lead antimony FMJ-BT bullet, NOT an armor-piercing round. And 2600 FPS is almost 200 FPS BELOW the standard muzzle velocity for military M80 ball, which means they custom-built underpowered ammo for their test.

Interceptor Body Armor, with the E-SAPI requirement, is certified to withstand multiple hits from AP M2 ammunition. That's a bullet weighing 15% more, travelling 200 FPS faster than what the Dragon Skin test was. Given that energy= mass*velocity^2, that means that the Dragon Skin test= 0.020857 pounds*2600 FPS ^2, or 140994. IBA test= 0.023714 pounds *2800FPS^2, or 185920. I'm no scientist, but 140994 < 185920. It's only 3/4 the energy delivered. Oh, and by the way, AP M2 is a steel-cored, Armor Piercing, Capped projectile, not a lead-antimony slug like M80 ball. Come on, Dragon Skin, let's see AP M2 at 2800 FPS!

The propaganda surrounding this Dragon Skin crap is ludicrous. My favorite was that stupid 'Future Weapons' show, where they say that the PROBLEM with the IBA ESAPI is that the ceramic cracks, so it'll stop a couple rounds, but "in combat you want it to stop round after round". I call Bullshit. In combat, if you get hit, you leave the combat zone. We had guys that got hit, and we pulled them off the line. One was hit in the chest from 30-50 meters by a full-power 7.62x54R tungsten core AP round. Didn't hurt him. But when someone gets shot, you pull them out. You sure don't count on the body armor to keep working; Dragon Skin or IBA, you turn it in for a new set if it takes a hit. Either set will be compromised by a hit. And last I checked, ceramic armor was SUPPOSED to break when hit... that's how it works! Even if there's no physical damage to the guy that got hit, the psychological impact is significant.

Ok, the heads of Pinnacle Armor are sore losers. Their armor failed Army testing in both the ballistic portion and the NBC portion. The Pinnacle CEO lied to Congress that a test round hadn't penetrated the vest- the Army showed Congress a video of the CEO WATCHING the testers dig the round out of the test target. They lied to the Air Force by claiming the armor was NIJ-certified before it WAS certified. But as Ssnake mentioned in another post, facts mean nothing on the interwebs. All you need is an opinion and moral "superiority", and the CEO of Pinnacle KNOWS that there are few things that the US population will get more worked up about than claims that their soldiers aren't being given protection they could be getting. So Pinnacle's done all they can to try to convince the population, through kicking and screaming and unscientific propaganda "testing", that their armor is better. They couldn't get the Army to buy it, so they try to get the population to FORCE the Army to buy it.

Bottom line: Interceptor works. I KNOW it works. I've been there and SEEN it work, against the most lethal AP threats short of .50 BMG, at rock-throwing distances. I KNOW that a bullet will NEVER "sneak" between a gap in the ESAPI. I KNOW IBA weighs less than Dragon Skin. I KNOW that IBA doesn't significantly restrict my movement (at least, until you add the DAPS shoulder pads, but no one does). I DON'T know that Dragon Skin works. I DON'T have any confidence that a bullet or upward-projected fragment from an explosive won't sneak between two Dragon Skin scales. I DON'T know that the adhesive will hold the scales in their proper place at high ambient temperatures, or after repeated bending through weeks and months of daily wear.

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Oh, and as to the Quick-Kill versus Trophy, the fact is Quick-Kill is leaps and bounds better. Trophy has a HUGE fratricide and collateral damage area, where Quick-Kill uses a directed blast warhead that is much less destructive. Trophy does not defend from top attack missiles (or RPGs fired downward), Quick-Kill does. Trophy has blind spots (theoretically, they can be covered by increasing the amount of Trophy launchers on a vehicle), Quick-Kill does not have blind spots.

... come to think of it, did the Israeli Merkavas have Trophy installed when they got their collective rear handed to them by Hezbollah with AT-14s a while back? That's a less than glowing recommendation for Trophy.

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Ok, simple facts:

2) If making armor from the same material, then greater thickness= greater stopping power. Also, greater surface area covered with the same mass = thinner coverage. So, with the same material, if Dragon skin covers more, it protects less.

.

ballistics are not that simple. it very much depends how the material is treated.

for example, carbon can range from coal, to diamond. just recently, scientists have discovered a way to make

perfect molecular crystallic nanostructures of carbon, resulting in a material 200 times stronger than steel,

and naturally, harder than diamond.

the quality of the material also depends on production standard cleanliness. iron oxide (rust) is for example a far less capable material than pure iron, and similarly, material pollution can degrade the quality of a material significantly.

as for bullets sneaking inbetween the scales:

dragonskin_8.jpg

that would be pretty damn hard, don't you think?

here's another link other than wikipedia that says its made of silicon carbide:

http://brblife.wordpress.com/2007/11/24/new-military-grade-armor-dragon-skin/

also, the fabric covering is made of tightly woven aramid.

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Harder than sneaking through a solid plate? I think not.

Think of it: you're crouched down, or maybe being shot at by enemies in an upper-story window. The bullets are entering along the same angle as the fault lines between plates. For that matter, you get the same effect with shots fired from high side angles. Yes, it happens, that's why we always overlap our FRONT ballistic insert panels over our REAR panels, so a round entering from the front does not "follow" the material to the seam. Give me any data indicating that the multiple-scale pattern is measurably superior in any way to a monolithic plate.

Wait, so now we're to assume Dragon Skin IS made of some magic material? Why would you assume that the materials or manufacturing process that goes into Dragon Skin is in any way superior to the IBA ESAPI? Your whole basic argument seems to be founded on the assumption that the materials and manufacturing processes for Dragon Skin are measurably superior to the materials and processes for ESAPI. Show me information indicating that the material it is made from is superior in ballistic performance to boron carbide. For that matter, show me a link with official data, not one on someone's blog, with data that was probably snagged from Wikipedia itself, showing WHAT the material is. "aramid fiber"? Yet more Pinnacle Armor posturing. If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. What do you think the Kevlar ballistic panels behind the ESAPIs in IBAs are made of? That's right, Kevlar, a para-aramid fiber.

Incidentally, that's not the level IV Dragon Skin, it's level II or (maybe) III. Watch the video where some Kommiefornian news station hosts a competition between the level V Dragon Skin (look how thick it is! Imagine what it must weigh! And their test panel is a tiny little 8x8 or MAYBE 8x10 coverage area!) and the OLD SAPI plates (no, that "fair, unbiased" competition did not use the newer standard E-SAPI plates. ESAPIs are noticeably thicker, and are dark green rather than black. They also have a noticeable 'soft' or 'padded' appearance to the front.). The military-grade Dragon Skin is a LOT heavier, a lot thicker, and doesn't provide that good of performance. The scale pattern is a gimmick, the ONLY benefit you get is added flexibility of movement, and I doubt much of that, given that at the same protection level it is much bulkier.

...and I understand ballistics quite well, thank you. I've been making my own ammuntion for years, I've shot service ammunition at hostile persons, and I've been shot at by (and struck by ricochets from, though never a solid hit) hostile persons. I know there's a number of interesting tricks you can do with armor involving holes or gaps in the array, angled panels, composite layers, and such. Most of them are FAR too volume-intensive for personal armor, and most of them are designed not for stopping solid shot, but rather for enhanced protection from HEAT warheads. No, Dragon Skin does NOT have enough gap in the array to make meaningful use of "bullet tipping" with a standoff array that makes the projectile strike the main armor off-axis or sideways. Even unstable bullets like the 5.45x39 Russian does not yaw appreciably (more than 20-30 degrees) until it has traveled 8 to 10 inches after impact. So, unless Dragon Skin has an 8-10 inch gap between armor layers, I don't buy it.

With all the modern advancements, what's the most useful method of stopping APFSDS solid shot? That's right, a big slab of hard, dense depleted uranium.

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well, how about this then: buy dragonskin, and shoot at it, since no manner of argument is going to convince you anyways.

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Well, apparently no argument, including Army testing, proof that the Pinnacle Armor-sponsored tests are rigged, or basic physics will convince you, either.

Nor will firsthand experience that the ESAPI is capable of doing everything that Dragon Skin claims. Nor the fact that for that protection, ESAPI weighs less.

Apparently Pinnacle did a very good job marketing, because there's still people out there that buy their pot of lies.

It's kind of like the whole XM8 brouhaha. All the XM8 is is a repackaged HK G36. All the G36 is is a repackaged AR18. A rifle that's been around since the 70s, but the only major users were IRA. I own a G36. It offers precisely no appreciable advantage over the M16A4. It is considerably less accurate. The ergonomics are ATROCIOUS (though the ambi safety is nice... but you can get those on M16A4s, too). With the same length barrel, and the same ammo, my G36 regularly fires a good 150-200 FPS slower than my M16A4. Yes, I have chronied my loads; I measure the velocity of all of them as part of developing competition ammo. In a 5.56mm rifle, you need velocity to be lethal. G36/ XM8 robs it of velocity. YET, there are still people insisting that the Army is shortchanging the soldiers by making them continue using the M16A4. I own a Steyr AUG, SIG 556, G36, M16A4, M4, FS2000, AKM, and AK74. The M16A4 is by FAR my favorite. A few weeks ago I ran into an AIT soldier at the range and let him shoot my G36. He hated it with a passion. In fact, he promised that the next time one of his buddies started complaining that the Army needed to buy M8s, he would "punch them in the throat". The HK lobbyists, and a bunch of internet commandos that don't know their ass from a hole in the ground, insist that piston actions are inherentily better, and it's BS. If you look at the drive piston on a piston gun, or the bolt carrier on an M16, you'll see essentially the same thing- only difference is how far back in the action they are placed.

Dragon Skin is BS. But tell ya what, you pay for a set of Dragon Skin, and I'll be MORE than happy to perforate it for you.

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Dragon Skin is BS. But tell ya what, you pay for a set of Dragon Skin, and I'll be MORE than happy to perforate it for you.

right then. i'll just have to dig up 5000$ from somewhere.

wonder if i can buy a partial set...

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Hey, I've already dropped $50K into rifles, ammo, and loading equipment, I'm not about to drop $5K into proving a point.

...ok, what information does that link provide? All I see is that the NIJ certified it could stop 7.62x39mm ammo. Nothing impressive there. RBA, back in 1994, could do that, and RBA was just a big steel plate, nothing fancy. 7.62x39 is, in the continuum of things, pretty easy to stop. That's not the same as 7.62x51mm SLAP, or 7.62x54R tungsten AP

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