4/10/05 - "And now for something completely different." That famous line from Monty Python's Flying Circus should precede Crye Precision's
Armoured Chassis every time it makes an appearance. However you describe it - innovative, different, 'looks like a scorpion from behind', 'Starship
Trooper-ish' etc; the Chassis really IS quite different from anything currently available, and I'll go out on a limb and say that it's the most
advanced and forward-thinking system yet. In a relatively short time, Crye Precision has established itself as the military gear-design and
manufacturing company to keep an eye on.
Note that this is an initial preview/writeup - I haven't had a chance to talk to the guys at Crye about the specifications, but I'll update it as I
Overview - There are always pros and cons to the protection that the soldier wears to the battlefield. Personal protection is provided at the cost of
mobility and weight. There's no easy way around it. The more protection that armour provides against bullets and shrapnel, the heavier and bulkier it
becomes. The Crye Armoured Chassis aims to provide the soldier with a balance of the maximum amount of protection possible with today's existing
material technology while still enabling the him to perform his job without restricting his freedom of movement and mobility.
The main components that make up the Chassis are: Front plate carrier, Rear plate carrier, left/right flank/torso, and left/right shoulder pieces. The
flanks and shoulders are made out of ballistic material, providing level IIIA+fragment protection (2 grain through 64 grain). Instead of an armoured
carrier that holds soft armour inserts with plate pockets on the outside, the Crye Chassis IS the armour. Front and rear plate pockets hold
Crye-proprietary shaped plates, and connect the left and right flanks. The Chassis is cut short - and ends right above the belly button. It is meant
to be worn in conjunction with the Crye Armoured Belt (more on that later), and allows complete freedom of motion when bending or sitting, while still
providing ballistic protection at the waist level. The Chassis is covered in PALS webbing for attachment of pouches. The Chassis has an emergency
release system - pulling two release cables will dump the entire rig. Chassis components come in M-XL sizes, and can be mixed and matched to fit a
wide range of people. The medium Chassis shown weighs about 8lbs, without plates.
Front Plate Carrier - The medium-size front plate carrier shown accepts Crye's proprietary shaped plate (Crye will be making another version to
accept standard sized military rifle plates). The carrier is made in different sizes to accomodate the M-L Crye plates. A stand-alone plate must be
used as there is no ballistic layer between the rear of the plate and the body. They have a 3/4" to 1" standoff distance from your body. There's an
air gap in the front and back of the chassis, about 4-5" wide. The plates are supported where they overlap the chassis. If there's any back face
deformation over the gap, there's that standoff distance between the back of the plate and the body. If you get a hit on the plate where it overlaps
the chassis, the impact is distributed over a larger area as the chassis is pretty much rigid, unlike a soft panel, which can deform in a smaller,
localized area. There's also about 1/4" of closed cell foam padding behind the chassis.
With a conventional plate carrier/vest, there isn't any standoff and the plate lies directly on top of the soft panel, so any backface deformation is
transmitted through the panel into the body.
In-conjunction plates can be used with the crye chassis, as long as a ballistic insert is used behind them in the plate pockets. The top-opening
pocket closes with snaps on the sides and a velcro flap on top. The pocket is lined with semi-rigid sheets of kydex inside, so it retains its shape,
even without a plate inside, plus the kydex sheets provide some protection from fragments if the plate is hit. The front face of the carrier is
covered in PALS webbing for attachment of pouches. A groin protection panel can be suspended from the webbing sewn on the bottom of the rear face of
the carrier. The front plate carrier incorporates the main opening mechanism for the Chassis. A sliding plastic plate has a hook on the outboard upper
corner, that hooks over a receptacle on the left flank panel, and is released by pulling a tab. Alternate plate carriers are available to fit other
plates like SAPI, for both front and rear.
Rear Plate Carrier - The rear plate carrier shown fits a Crye-shaped medium plate (approx 9.5" wide x 14" tall). Shaped a bit like a wide hydration
carrier, the carrier is top-opening via a velcro flap, and has a drag handle sewn in at the top. Rows of PALS webbing cover the outer face. When I
first saw the Crye armoured Chassis, I noticed that the PALS webbing isn't sewn down tight, and that there is a little slack in it. I asked them if
pouches would be secure if this were so, and they explained that providing a bit of slack in the webbing made it possible to weave the MOLLE straps
more easily without sacrificing rigidity. I've found this to be true. Like the front plate carrier, the rear is lined with semi-rigid sheets of
kydex, to keep its shape without a plate inside. I found that a 70oz camelbak bladder fits inside the rear plate carrier. I can't fill it up to
capacity as it's flattened out, but I can fill it up about 3/4 full. If needed, it's possible to use the rear carrier for hydration if you don't
have a rear plate. Rear plate carriers are also available to fit standard SAPI or similar plates.
Crye-proprietary shaped plates - Just for illustration, shown above are dummy Crye plates (the real ones are currently in production). They were
molded white polymer, but I painted them black so they'd photography better. Both are triple-curved, and conform to my body-shape better than any
other I've tried. Preference of plate shape is subjective, of course, and depends on your body size and shape. The plates are stand-alone, providing
SAPI+API level protection. The dummy plates are .7" thick - same as the production ones. Plates will come in M-L sizes and weigh approximately
5.5-6lbs each. They are bigger than conventional plates and provide 20%-30% more coverage than traditional plates depending on size.
Ballistic Flanks - The side pieces (flanks) are semi-rigid, and molded/shaped to conform to your body. The ballistic material provides an equivalent
of Level IIIA+frag protection, and provides the rigidity to the flanks. The rigidity of the flanks help support the load in the pouches - they won't
flop. They also help distribute the load through the entire chassis instead of all the weight being borne by the shoulders. By incorporating the
ballistic material as part of the component, instead of having a compartment and removable insert, a perfect fit with some weight savings can be
achieved. 3 rows of PALS webbing cover the sides, and also on the rear quarter for attachment of the double hydration pouches, which are worn
off-center. The inside surfaces of the flanks are lined with soft, velcro-compatible material, to which the removable pads are attached. Each flank
has 3 removable pads - front, side and rear. Maximum thickness of the pads themselves are about .4" uncompressed. The pads provide a standoff from
the armour, which insulates the user from impacts and blunt trauma, and the air gaps increase passive cooling, especially when worn with the Crye
Combat shirt. The pads are made of fabric-covered closed cell foam with air channels molded into the surface, and can be removed for washing. No hard
part of the chassis system contacts the body - it's suspended away from the body by these pads. As seen from the photos of me wearing the chassis,
it's not as bulky as I thought it would be. The flanks themselves are about .5" thick, without the pads. The pads also serve to provide flotation.
Ballistic Shoulders - Like the flanks, the shoulders are also armoured. They're rigid, pre-shaped, and also about .5" thick, without the removable
pads. A row of webbing runs over the top of the shoulder, and a stock-lock (rifle butt catch) is attached to the front of each shoulder. The
stock-lock is molded of firm, slightly rubbery material, and with a 'tread' pattern on the front surface. The raised sides prevent the butt from
slipping off the shoulders. I've tried shouldering my rifle and it feels pretty stable. The ballistic shoulders can also be had without the
stock-locks. Chassis ride height is adjusted by swapping out the shoulder pieces with a different size.
Different shooters will position the rifle butt in different places on their shoulder. I shoot with my shoulders more square to the target whereas
someone might be more bladed. At first, I found that my rifle butt was best on the inside of the stock lock, half on and half off. I'd have liked the
stock lock to be farther inboard. I mentioned this to Caleb and he offered up what should have been an obvious solution: Adjust the rear lace so that
the flanks are farther apart so the front can be pulled closer together. It worked. The inboard-outboard position of the stock locks can be adjusted
about an inch, by varying the ratio of the distance between the front and rear flanks.
How it all goes together - Rather than being add-ons, the front and rear plate carriers form a structural part of the Chassis. On the inside front of
the right flank are four black velcro straps which form vertical loops. Sewn to the outside of the right flank are 1.5" wide straps, on which the
front carrier slides horizontally on, which also form two loops. A cable runs through the loops and keeps the front carrier connected to the right
flank. Also spaced in between the black and web straps are three colour-coded plastic eyelets for 550 cord. The plastic plate attached to the front
carrier (which hooks to the left flank) is also free to slide horizontally relative to the front carrier, and has corresponding lacing holes for 550
cord. The 550 cord is laced, connecting the right flank and the sliding plate. Tightening the cord closes the gap between the right flank and the
plate, which is connected to the left flank, effectively bringing the left and right flanks towards the middle.
A similar setup connects the rear plate carrier to the back of the right and left flanks. The rear plate carrier slides horizontally on web straps
that form loops, through which the release cord goes through. These straps are held in place by the black velcro straps, with which the tension is
adjusted (loosening up the loops make it easier to pull the cable). 550 cord lacing adjusts the rear distance between the right and left flanks. The
550 cord is tightened, and the ends tucked away. I used a short length of velcro to retain the cord ends.
The two release cables that hold the rear of the Chassis together, end in loops, and follow the inside of the shoulder pieces to the front, where
they're secured with velcro tabs. To release the Chassis, either one of the loops is pulled. The cable is pulled out, separating one side of the
flank/rear carrier connection, and the entire rig falls forward. Only one of the release cables needs to be pulled - not both.
The shoulder pieces are connected to each flank by allen bolts, and can swivel/adjust.
Donning/doffing - The front and rear lace adjustments are loosened and the Chassis is donned like any other break-front vest, similar to the
Interceptor. The 'hook' on the sliding plate on the front carrier is mated and seated on its receptacle on the left flank. The front and rear 550
cord laces are pulled down and adjusted, then the ends tucked away (I used a short length of velcro to secure the ends). To doff the Chassis, the
front lace is loosened (this makes it easier), and the black tab on the 'hook' is pulled out and forward, opening the front of the vest. It's
pretty simple and fast to put on and take off - no zippers or straps. Another advantage of this design is that the vest is easily adjusted when worn.
Just loosen or tighten the front or rear laces to move the flank pieces back and forth. The Chassis can be loosened up during a break for more
ventilation and then quickly snugged up for action, without having to remove it.
Weight - Chassis weight depends on the threat package. For the current package, including plates, the approximate weights are as follows: Medium
17lbs, Large 20lbs, XLarge 23lbs."
as u can see the author is describing and experiencing the the use of this uniform in details and i agree with him that this new uniform is very
different and better than ani other existing uniforms.
also we have seen soldiers in Iraq in images with their knee pads sliding down to their ankles, in this uniform its already on yer knees and elbows.
as well as other things that are different from the current uniform as well as that new Army uniform the military has issued.
also u can look at the other pages on the other parts of the uniform on pages 1, 2, and 3.
wen u are in the militarymorons.com homepage just scroll down to the middle and on the left side should say Crye Precision underlined page 1, 2, 3.
and its all there on the information on this new uniform and other accessories related to it.
[edit on 14-6-2005 by deltaboy]
[edit on 14-6-2005 by deltaboy]
[edit on 14-6-2005 by deltaboy]