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Murray Neal, CEO of Pinnacle Armor, has told us that both Level III/III+ and Level IV (classified) Dragon Skin have undergone testing at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) and Army Research Laboratory (ARL)--to Secretary of Defense Standards (military standards), no less--and passed those tests. This information would seem to be at direct odds the following statements made by Mr. Sorenson: "In some cases we haven't seen this capability ... has done anything to provide force protection we evaluate is even standard," and "all other claims being made (about Dragon Skin are) ... exactly what they are: claims." It’s our understanding that the DoD ballistic test standards mentioned above are more stringent than NIJ standards. In those tests (which did happen, by the way), Dragon Skin reportedly...
proved to be superior to Interceptor body armor. ATC and ARL are both recognized and trusted Department of Defense (DoD) test facilities (including ballistic testing), but they don’t appear to be Natick’s and PEO’s preferred ballistic testing facilities. That now dubious honor goes to H.P. White Laboratory, Inc., a civilian test facility. Interestingly, a number of professionals in the ballistic armor field that we’ve spoken with do not trust H.P. White Laboratory to conduct fair ballistic testing of their products, as they believe H.P. White to be biased towards U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center/Soldier Systems Center (Natick) and PEO Soldier. In fact, H.P. White is so preferred by these two organizations that General James R. Moran (James R. Moran) would reportedly only agree to test Dragon Skin/SOV body armor at this facility. Hmh.
Natick and PEO have basically declared war on Pinnacle Armor and Dragon Skin. It’s DefRev’s opinion that what we’re all seeing here is an economic and political fight, a high-stakes turf war, if you will. It would appear that U.S. Army Natick and PEO are actively protecting their Interceptor body armor program and preferred contractors (soft armor and ceramic hard armor components), and blocking Dragon Skin from being adopted/procured, even though (we believe) these organizations are already aware that Dragon Skin is superior to Interceptor, with Dragon Skin offering superior ballistic protection to Interceptor in terms of coverage area at the same weight, multi-hit capability, threat level protection, and durability.
If we’re right, these organizations (U.S. Army Natick and PEO Soldier) are working against the best interest of our infantry warfighters, because they’re keeping them from receiving the best ballistic protection that’s currently available--technology that could better protect them from enemy ballistic threats. And, the worst part is, they’re doing this during wartime. If we’re correct in our assessment, then the actions we’ve described could actually rise to the level of treason. We don’t use the “T” word lightly. The actions that have been taken so far by certain individuals are potentially criminal and thus prosecutable acts. Our warfighters’ lives are at stake (again, during wartime). Remember, our infantry warfighters are currently suffering approx. 95% of all combat casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan (and anywhere else in the world, for that matter), so they deserve the best weapons and ballistic protection they can get. In our opinion, as well as the opinions of a number of military and PSC/PMC professionals we’ve spoken with, Interceptor simply ain’t it, and SOV/Dragon Skin is (the best existing body armor for anti-rifle protection).
Murray Neal, Pinnacle’s CEO, recently told DefenseReview that "Pinnacle Armor has a standing invitation for the U.S. Army to do a side-by-side [live-fire test of Dragon Skin body armor vs. Interceptor body armor], that when the smoke clears, that the Army agrees that whatever's left standing without holes in it gets outfitted to the Army soldiers [immediately]--and the Interceptor won't be that system . They can put the best Interceptor body armor they have, and we'll put ours [Dragon Skin] next to it...[reiterates challenge]". Mr. Neal added that information (written ballistic test data and video footage) to Pinnacle's level IV SOV/Dragon Skin would of course have to remain classified (as it is, currently). Pinnacle Armor's Level III/III+ Dragon Skin has not been classified by the U.S. military.
"If someone finds the holy grail we will be right there to back up the dump truck and buy it," Sorenson has said. Defense Review would like to believe him (for the sake of our troops).
However, as much as we’d like to see the U.S. Army take Pinnacle Armor up on Mr. Neal’s challenge (under fair and video-taped conditions, with Pinnacle Armor representatives and independent witnesses present), we’re guessing they won’t. It’s our belief that they can’t, because Dragon Skin will beat Interceptor hands down, and they know this. If this were to happen, it could potentially prove fatal to the Interceptor body armor program—and Natick and PEO won’t allow that to happen.
In Level III, we saw V50 and V0 data on the M80 Ball (7.62x51mm), M193 (5.56x45mm), and 7.62x39mm Ball Round
In Level IV, we saw V50 and V0 data on the M855 (5.56x45mm), PS Ball (7.62x39mm), LPS (7.62mmx54R),B32 (7.62mmx54R) Armor-Piercing Incendiary round (API), APM2, and BZ/BS API (7.62x39mm Armor-Piercing Incendiary round)
There's simply no way anyone who has seen the data that we saw could come to any other conclusion other than Dragon Skin is vastly superior to Interceptor Body Armor. It's not even close.
The data proves that in Level III/III+ (SOV-2000) and Level IV (SOV-3000) versions, Dragon skin surpases SAPI and ESAPI performance levels in 9 different areas, by huge margins:
- Ballistic Performance
- Multiple Repeat Hit Capability
- Flexibility with the Ability to add coverage
- Substantially reduced backface deformation (less trauma to the body)
- Ergonomic capabilities (mission specific, concealed, female rifle defeating capabilities)
- Better edge hit capability
And here's the kicker: the soft armor (ballistic fiber) portion of SOV/Dragon Skin is NIJ Level IIIA-certified, Interceptor's soft armor component is not, and that's a fact. In the interests of saving weight or cost (or both), U.S. Army PEO Soldier and U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center/Soldier Systems Center have apparently elected not to meet NIJ Level IIIA standards for their soft armor component.
Getting back to the hard armor ballistic test data we viewed with our own eyes, the data proves that Dragon Skin's anti-ballistic performance far exceeds the performance levels required to pass NIJ Level III and NIJ Level IV standards. The NIJ standard is a civilian standard that is significantly below the military standard (Secretary of Defense standards)due to bullet type limitations such as API.
Defense Review can't provide the V50 and V0 velocities or information on the number of impacts the armor can handle to the public. Disclosure of this information would violate OPSEC (operational security) for the military and PSC/PMC operators currently wearing Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon skin in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defense Review also viewed a letter from ATC containing information that proves that SOV/Dragon Skin did NOT fail any U.S. Air Force test or requirement, as has been stated by certain parties in the U.S. Army. We viewed the relevant information ourselves.
Bottom line is, all relevant ballistic test data is available for viewing and validation (just like we viewed and validated it), exactly as Pinnacle Armor has offered in their written response to the SOUM and the Pentagon Brief by General Sorenson. Defense Review has validated this ourselves by visiting Pinnacle Armor and carefully scrutinizing all of the data with our own eyes. That data covered a 9 year timeline and validates Pinnacle's statements in their written response.
So, the upshot is that based on the unrefutable ballistic test data that we've seen (again from three recognized ballistic test centers--H.P. White, USTL, and ATC) Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis' (U.S. Army) negative statements about Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon Skin to Margaret Warner on News Hour with Jim Lehrer Armor for U.s. Troops In Iraq (Jan. 11, 2006) and Major General Jeffrey A. Sorenson's, Col. John Norwood's (U.S. Army), Col. Thomas Spoehr's(U.S. Army) negative statements about Dragon Skin in his recent news briefing are either ignorant (showing a lack of knowledge of the available ballistic data), outright lies, or deliberately deceptive.
The only other possibility (and this would be giving the total benefit of the doubt to the Army), would be that civilian "experts" like Karl Masters, Steve Pinter, James Zehng, Janet Ward and others at U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center/Soldier Systems Center and PEO soldier who providing the information to the green suiters (Army officers), are responsible for the U.S. Army receiving inaccurate information about SOV/Dragon Skin's true performance capabilities.
By the way, these civilians in the system seem to have built quite a little empire/fiefdom for themselves over the years. This is due to the fact that the military has (for years) outsourced these types of positions at Natick and PEO to such civilians, instead of maintaining them within the military. Unlike military personnel these civilians do not have the same level of oversight or controls on them to maintain the typical checks and balances necessary to ensure true and unbiased evaluation of performance-based products (like SOV/Dragon Skin, for instance) for the protection of the America's soldiers.
So, the aforementioned negative statements by the aforementioned individuals (all U.S. Army personnel)has to come under the category of one of the four (or a combination of two of those, or all four together (ignorance, outright lies, deliberate deception, or out-of-control/off-the reservation civilian personnel inside U.S. Army Natick and PEO Soldier.