Hoplite Shoulder armor

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A company called Hoplite Armor has come up with an armor package that are shoulder plates, that covers about half of a shooters bicep. The system is attached to the arm via a strap that connects to an existing plate carrier shoulder straps, and then another strap that wraps around the arm of the shooter. Ilikegunz has a pretty decent review of them, to include shooting them with 5.56 and 7.62, the plates stopping both of the calibers. They are selling for $400, while the actual carriers are going for $100 on the Hoplite Armor website. The carriers can fit both types of plates. It also has a Velcro section so patches can be added to it.

Now, of course this is going to get into the whole slick versus armor argument, or minimal versus maximizing armor. I know that a lot of SWAT teams already use shoulder armor, but those are probably much more costly than this more civilian alternative. The military has already gone through this uparmoring process from Iraq, where the Army extensively used shoulder, neck, and groin armor because of the extremely built up areas where the majority of combat operations took place in. Case in point, in that using shoulder armor, it is very situationally dependent and probably best for extremely tight areas where multiple threats occur. But as for open terrain, I think it would be hard to justify this as adding more armor slows and wears a soldier down, considering the amount of movement that takes place.

 

From the company website-

At a weight of only 1 lb. per plate the Hoplite HASP (Hard Armor Shoulder Plate) is a unique Level III design unlike anything currently on the market. The HASP System provides extended coverage to the upper body and covers the vital organs, protecting the operator from lateral impacts. The HASP (Hard Armor Shoulder Plate) is fabricated according to the highest quality standards, using the best polymer based materials available. The HASP (Hard Armor Shoulder Plate) will fit in the standard DAPS carrier or in HASP Plate Frame. ONE SIZE Sold in Pairs. *Shown with HASP Frame Carrier (sold separately).

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Iraq saw a lot of uparmoring across the services, to include shoulder armor, side armor, groin armor, built up neck soft armor. The Marine Corps even came out with the MTV, or the turtle shell vest that replaced the Interceptor flak. Most of this armor went away when combat operations in Afghanistan were amped up in the vastly open terrain in the mountains of Kunar, and the river communities of Helmand.

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Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Henrik Bergdahl

    We need power armor with jet packs!

    • iggy

      GO BIG OR GO HOME!!!:

      • USMC03Vet

        Going to have to master 2 hearts, 3 pairs of lungs, and gene seed first, Emperor.

        • Cal S.

          Two hearts that beat as one?…

        • IshTheBuddha

          Don’t forget the fused ribs….

    • noob

      Call David Mayman who flew the JB-9 jet pack around the statue of liberty recently.

  • 2wheels

    Meh, if I could wear just these and a plate carrier… Maybe… But I’ve got the US Army forcing me to wear an IOTV loaded with mandatory junk I don’t need, and I’m lucky my current unit doesn’t force us to wear all the extra shoulder/neck/groin/butt protection! IMHO we’re killing ourselves with all the armor we’re forced to wear.

    • SGT Fish

      i like that the IOTV is modular so that you can increase/decrease you level of protection. But the head shed usually ruins that by mandating you to wear all of it. By design it is awesome by allowing you to wear full armor in a gun turret or working an ECP, and lets you strip down to just the vest and front/rear plates for more foot mobile situations. I know wearing the IOTV with all four plates and groin and neck protectors makes you feel like you are wearing a whiskey barrel, just getting it on is a chore and then running and anything but standing is slowed down and difficult. I’m always the first one to strip my vest down to bare essentials.

      • 2wheels

        Even stripped down I think the IOTV is sometimes a bit much. I’d much rather have a simple plate carrier and lose all that protection, because it means I’d actually be able to move around and do my job effectively!

    • Rock or Something

      “Every ounce counts…”

  • thedonn007

    How much longer until we can have graphene armor?

    • TJbrena

      Sometime after it actually becomes useful for that purpose.

      Graphene is just graphite at a single atom thick layer layer. It’s basically anorexic pencil lead. The applications for armor aren’t much better than pencil lead as a result. At least, not unless it’s used as part of some sort of shear-thickening fluid (dilatant) matrix or similar concept, and even then you might as well use buckyballs. Graphene’s applications for things that aren’t armor seem more promising.

      Carbon nanotubes, UHMWPE, and stuff like dilatants soaked into an aramid (maybe) vest are more promising if we’re talking about a solution analogous to current armor where one layer does almost all of the ballistic-protection work and a backing catches any fragments.

      Or rather than using straight ceramic we go to a layered composite of ceramic (maybe) and other, possibly lighter, materials. Something analogous to early composite armor on MBTs.

      First known use was the US’ experimental T95 tank (the hyphen matters) in the 50s, which sandwiched fused silica glass between RHA. First widespread production and use was in the Soviet T-64, which sandwiched glass-reinforced plastic between RHA. There may have been ceramic plates in there too, not sure.

      In any case, I think that radical solutions like dilitants should always have a more moderate alternative. A layered system substituting much of the dense ESAPI/XSAPI ceramics with a lighter material serving a complementary role could possibly provide equal or greater protection for less or equal weight.

      Someone once explained composite armor in terms of a sports team. You don’t make a winning team out of just batters. Every part performs a different role with the same goal of defeating a threat. And in armor, those parts don’t all have to be heavy.

      • Rich Guy

        Do you mean THIS T-95? Because that’s cool if it is, I thought it was just slabs of RHA armor.. pretty hi tech for the 50’s.

        • TJbrena

          Yeah. A lot of stuff was pioneered in Cold War prototypes that never went into full production, but ended up influencing or spawning later programs. The armor in the T95 (no hyphen because it’s not Soviet/Russian) probably helped convince the Army that composite armor was worth looking into. Leading into the MBT-70 program, and from there into our M1 Abrams and the Germans’ Leo 2.

          Still happens today. Look at the OICW program, for example. From it we got the XM25 and the XM8 program. The XM8 was abandoned, but the XM320 designed for it was adopted as the M320. The XM25 is in trials for full adoption now. We didn’t get an OICW out of the program, but we did get two other systems.

  • Edeco

    Not a major real world issue for me, not an occupational user, but looking at armor I’m underwhelmed by the shoulder/neck options.

    I mean, hypothetically if I did have it as an emergency thing, I’d want not only the vitals protected, but protection against other scenarios where I’d need to go to a hospital.

  • wetcorps

    Is there an option for a crux terminatus?

    • Rocky Chen

      lol roll for invulnerbale save 😀

    • Cynic

      Or a fusion core or a sweet reily’s rangers patch

  • iksnilol

    Can’t we just get power armor soon?

    Or at the very least a UHMWPE version of medieval plate armor?

    • roguetechie

      Honestly, we could have had it for day one of SOCOM engaging in Afghanistan post 9/11…
      Except UAV’s are the new cruise missiles when it comes to keeping the power packs the PBI and the civilian economy needs completely out of bounds…
      That And between the way federal funding and etc encourage bloat and the people who write requirements are completely divorced from current reality in the field….
      yeah
      basically we’re doomed until the day AFTER someone else fields it in hostile operations against us or our partners in a way that can’t be denied or covered up…
      the obstacles are not technical

  • LCON

    It reminds me of the S&S Plate Frame

  • Tony K.

    And yet for all that “cool guy” armor in that bottom photo… there’s that pesky T-zone still shining nice an bright through those paint-ball masks. At least their K-pots will keep the pink mist off the walls.

  • CavScout

    We wear all the armor and dingle berries because of the IED threat. We wear plates for rifle rounds but all the soft armor is for shrapnel mainly. Not because we’re in built up areas…