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United States Patent Application 20180321017
Kind Code A1
JONASSEN; Tom ;   et al. November 8, 2018

PROTECTIVE ARMOUR GEAR

Abstract

The invention is a protective amour gear comprising--a main hip belt (3) with right and left side junctions (2, 2) near said wearer's hip joints, for holding a right and left side, generally "V" or "U" shaped fork structural element (1, 1) by their lower, middle portion (1v, 1v), respectively,--each structural element (1, 1) having a fore vertical branch (1F, 1F) extending up along the wearer's frontal chest to an elevation near his right and left collar bone, respectively, with a separation of about one half of the wearer's chest width; and--each said fork structural element (1,1) further having a rear or back vertical branch (1B, 1B) extending up along the wearer's back to an elevation near his right and left shoulder wing, respectively, and having a separation of about one half of the wearer's back width,--fore attachment elements (6F, 6F) on said fore vertical branches (1F, 1F) for holding a frontal chest amour plate on or between said fore vertical branches (F, 1F), and--rear attachment elements (6R, 6R) on said rear or back vertical branches (1B, 1B) for holding a back amour plate on or between said rear vertical branches (1B, 1B).


Inventors: JONASSEN; Tom; (Mantad, NO) ; HANSEN; Pal Francis; (Vesteroy, NO)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

MISSINGEN SERVICES AS

Krakeroy

NO
Family ID: 1000003478826
Appl. No.: 15/773949
Filed: November 14, 2016
PCT Filed: November 14, 2016
PCT NO: PCT/NO2016/050228
371 Date: May 4, 2018


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F41H 1/02 20130101; A41D 13/0005 20130101; A41D 13/015 20130101
International Class: F41H 1/02 20060101 F41H001/02

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Nov 16, 2015NO20151563

Claims



1. A protective armour gear comprising a main belt for attachment around a wearer's hips, a right and a left side junction on said main belt and arranged near said wearer's hip joints, said junctions holding a right and left side, generally "V" or "U" shaped fork structural element by its lower, middle portion, respectively, each said fork structural element having a fore vertical branch extending up along the wearer's frontal chest to an elevation near his right and left collar bone, respectively, with a separation of about one half of the wearer's chest width; each said fork structural element further having a rear or back vertical branch extending up along the wearer's back to an elevation near his right and left shoulder wing, respectively, and having a separation of about one half of the wearer's back width, fore attachment elements on said fore vertical branches for holding a frontal chest armour plate on or between said fore vertical branches, and rear attachment elements on said rear or back vertical branches for holding a back armour plate on or between said rear vertical branches.

2. The protective armour gear of claim 1, further comprising a right and a left structural vertical shoulder arch extending from front to rear above the wearer's shoulders, said right and left structural shoulder arch connected from an upper portion of said right and left fore vertical branch and an upper portion of said right and left rear vertical branch, respectively, and extending above the wearers' shoulders, each structural shoulder arch to provide structural support for further armour plates, such as shoulder armour plates, helmet, neck armour collar or other equipment.

3. The protective armour gear of claim 1, further comprising a right and a left structural lateral shoulder arch extending subhorizontally around the wearer's shoulders, said right and left structural shoulder arch also connected from an upper portion of said right and left fore vertical branch and an upper portion of said right and left rear vertical branch, respectively, each structural shoulder arch to provide structural support for further armour plates, such as shoulder armour plates, or other equipment.

4. The protective armour gear of claim 1, said right and left side junctions on said main belt forming rigid, non-pivoting junctions between said main belt and said left and right middle portions, respectively.

5. The protective armour gear of claim 1, said right and left side junction comprising a right and a left side pivot axle or link axis extending horizontally out to the right and left side, respectively, on said main belt said right and left side, generally "V" or "U" shaped fork structural element with its lower middle portion pivotally connected on said right and left side junction,

6. The protective armour gear of any of claim 1, said left and right side "V"- or "U"-shaped fork structural elements each shaped as a bent plate with a common face of its middle portion and its fore and aft vertical branches draped along the right and left sides of the wearers' torso, respectively.

7. The protective armour gear of claim 1, said main belt, said right and left fork structural elements arranged in a body-near or tight-fitting configuration.

8. The protective armour gear of claim 1, said right and left structural elements comprising an antiballistic armour plate.

9. The protective armour gear of claim 1, said left and right side structural elements made in flexible and bending elastic fibre composite material or thermoplastic material such as ABS plastic, Polycarbonate, and PET.

10. The protective armour gear of claim 1, said left and right side structural elements comprising plates or profile elements of light metal such as aluminium or titanium.

11. The protective armour gear of claim 1, said left and right side structural elements comprising thermoplastic material such as ABS plastic, Polycarbonate, and PET.

12. The protective armour gear of any of claim 1, said right and left structural vertical shoulder arch made as flexible and bending elastic arch-shaped rods of fibre composite material or thermoplastic material such as ABS plastic.

13. The protective armour gear of any of claim 1, one or more of said fore and aft vertical branches having first internal channel extending along its length.

14. The protective armour gear of any of claim 1, one or more of said right and left structural vertical shoulder arch comprising a second internal channel connected to one or more of said first internal channels.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the technical field of protective gear for soldiers, police, security personnel, and similar professions exposed to bodily harm.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] The human body is generally vulnerable to bodily harm and injury from weapons such as pistols, rifles, shrapnel, and bombs. An intentionally wounded person will inevitably suffer generally large pain and wounds may take long time to heal, incur amputation, or lead to death. Armour has been used for thousands of years, but until recently soldiers have been regarded as expendable; those harmed or injured could easily be replaced by pouring in fresh blood, and only few were realistically armoured.

[0003] Police and soldiers in exposed situations carry protective armour gear for preventing projectiles and shrapnel from penetrating the armour to harm the body gravely. The protective gear generally increases in weight and extent with increasing weapon size or penetration capacity of the enemy. For a combat soldier in protective armour or a police officer in anti-terror gear, the weight of the protective armour gear may be more than 12 to 15 kg. or more. The upper torso and head is usually most exposed and vulnerable, and more critically injured. Typically, the heart region, lungs, neck and head is most importantly protected. The protective gear usually comprises several levels with so-called "single handheld weapon protection" in the inner layer; and so-called "two hand operated gun protection" centrally arranged on the front chest and back. Presently, such protective armour is integrated into special designed vests and / or jackets which are available in numerous different embodiments.

[0004] Weight load on spine.

[0005] Common to all is that the weight of the protective gear is transferred via the vest or jacket to the user's lower neck and shoulders, again loading the spine, then the hips and the legs. Those do all restrict the mobility of the torso, particularly the upper torso and the shoulders of the person wearing the ordinary protective vest or jacket.

[0006] Breathing capacity

[0007] The significant armour load on the shoulders as incurred by the prior art armour support also incurs reduced breathing capacity of the soldier or police officer as some of the breathing force is used to hold the shoulders and load in position. The wearer will tend to avoid exhaling fully in order to maintain the supporting force for the shoulder load.

[0008] Shoulder and upper arm mobility

[0009] Similarly, the soldier or police officer wearing a significant load of armour gear on his shoulders will have his shoulder and upper arm muscles and joints weighted down. The soldier's capacity to elevate a single hand operated or a two hand operated gun up to aiming and firing position will be slowed and made less precise under the load. He will also experience a bothering shake during aiming and pulling off the trigger when his shoulders and upper arms are loaded down by armour gear.

[0010] Reaction capacity reduction

[0011] Further, armour gear loaded shoulders and upper arms of the wearer in an aiming position will significantly prevent the wearer's capacity of reacting to re-aim on a moving target or shifting to a new appearing target.

[0012] Head vulnerability

[0013] A critical unit in modern protective gear is the helmet and its protective function for the head, neck and face, including a visor. Under an elevated level of threat one have to use a larger, heavier armoured helmet and a heavier, less penetrable visor which will be hard to carry for the head and neck. Even though the helmet and visor is so heavily dimensioned and as such will provide impact protection, the dynamic effect from an impact from a high energy projectile may as such incur a broken neck of the soldier.

[0014] DE102007048106 A describes an armour that has a carrying sleeve with bombardment-restraining protective elements fastened to a hip belt such that the protective elements are supported at the hip of a carrier.

[0015] US2007079415 A describes a ballistic vest having an articulated body armor component and duty gear support component connected together such that the body armor and duty gear support component each support the weight of duty gear items positioned on a duty gear belt.

[0016] US2011185483 A describes a modular body armour system which includes an upper shoulder harness in which shoulder straps are pivotally rotatable relative to each other and also to front and back connecting bridges that define a closed loop for the harness.

[0017] Further, US20120180178 A describes an armor apparatus. In an exemplary embodiment, the armor apparatus is in the form of the vest or carrier including, in several exemplary embodiments, one or more armor plates.

[0018] W02011002784 A describes support assemblies releasably extending between a ballistic vest and a waist encircling belt transfer the loads from the vest to the belt relieving the stress on the wearer's shoulders and spine.

[0019] W020130008001 A describes a load carriage frame including a shoulder a yoke and a belt separated from the yoke by a connecting brace.

[0020] The present invention overcomes some of the problems of the prior art in obtaining a load transfer, from the protective armour and more directly transferred to near the hips of the soldier, not his shoulders or neck.

[0021] Further, the present invention allows full or partial unloading of the helmet and visor support from the head to the protective gear's shoulder arches so as for supporting the helmet and visor and also to take the dynamic loads of an impact which would otherwise have been taken by the soldier's neck.

SHORT SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0022] A main object of the present invention is to disclose a protective gear solving at least some of the problems of the prior art.

FIGURE CAPTIONS

[0023] The attached figures illustrate some embodiments of the claimed invention.

[0024] FIG. 1 illustrates a front elevation view of a soldier wearing a protective gear of an embodiment of the invention.

[0025] FIG. 2 illustrates a rear elevation view of a soldier wearing the protective gear of the same. FIG. 3 illustrates a right lateral elevation view of the same.

[0026] FIG. 4 illustrates cross-sections of fore and/or aft vertical branches (1F, 1B), one embodiment having an internal channel.

EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

[0027] The invention will in the following be described and embodiments of the invention will be explained with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0028] The invention is a protective armour gear comprising first, a main belt (3) for attachment around a wearer's hips, a right and a left side junction (2, 2) on said main belt (3) and arranged near said wearer's hip joints,

wherein said junctions (2, 2) holds a right and left side, generally "V" or "U" shaped fork structural element (1, 1) by their lower, middle portion (1v, 1v) connected on said right and left side junction (2, 2), respectively, each said fork structural element (1, 1) has a fore vertical branch (1F, 1F) extending up along the wearer's frontal chest to an elevation near his right and left collar bone, respectively, with a separation of about one half of the wearer's chest width; opposite to the fore vertical branches, each said fork structural element (1, 1) further has a rear or back vertical branch (1B, 1B) extending up along the wearer's back to an elevation near his right and left shoulder wing, respectively, and having a separation of about one half of the wearer's back width, fourth, there are arranged fore attachment elements (6F, 6F) on said fore vertical branches (1F, 1F) for holding a frontal chest armour plate on or between said fore vertical branches (F, 1F), and opposite, on the back, there rear attachment elements (6R, 6R) on said rear or back vertical branches (1B,1B) for holding a back armour plate on or between said rear vertical branches (1B, 1B).

[0029] Each fork structural element (1, 1)'s fore vertical branch (1F, 1F) may extend from a common portion of the structural element (1, 1) near its corresponding said junction (1v, 1v) and extend up along the wearer's frontal chest. A similar structure may also be formed with the aft vertical branches. This common portion near the junction may have a general downward-pointed triangular shape as shown in FIG. 3. The attachment elements (6R, 6F) may comprise velcro bands, strings, buttons, or similar attachment element types.

[0030] When the front and back chest armour plates are attached on or between the upstanding vertical branches, the entire structure is generally continuous around the wearer's chest. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, the fork structural elements are made with deeply extending armpits formed by the U- or V-structure of the fork structural elements.

[0031] In other words, the protective armour gear of the invention may be described as a main hip belt (3) holding at its right and left hip-joint near portions, right and left junctions (2, 2) for holding a right and left upright two-armed body-enveloping fork (1, 1) by its lower junction (1v, 1v), the fore and aft branches (1F, 1B) of each fork extending up along the left and right side of the chest and back on either sides of the torso, the left and right branches (1F, 1F) on the chest arranged for carrying a frontal antiballistic plate, and correspondingly on the back.

[0032] In an embodiment of the invention one or both of the front or rear antiballistic plates may be replaced by other gear such as battery packs, radio equipment in situations wherein one or both of the antiballistic plates are not strictly required. One may also replace the rear armour plate with a backpack, which itself may carry armour.

[0033] In an embodiment of the invention there may be arranged above-shoulder extending arches. The protective armour gear of the invention in this embodiment further comprises a right and a left structural vertical shoulder arch (4R, 4L) extending from front to rear above the wearer's shoulders, please see FIGS. 1, 2, and 3. The right and left structural shoulder arch (4R, 4L) are both connected from an upper portion of said right and left fore vertical branch (1F, 1F) and an upper portion of said right and left rear vertical branch (1B, 1B), respectively, and extend above the wearers' shoulders. Connection may be through rivets (5) or similar, see FIG. 3. Each structural shoulder arch (4R, 4L) is arranged to provide structural support for further armour plates, such as shoulder armour plates, helmet, or other equipment. Further, the structural arches provide stability to the right and left vertical branches, respectively, and contribute to a semi-rigid cage structure about the torso. Please notice that those shoulder archers (4R, 4L) generally do not load weight from the protective gear onto the shoulders. The load of the protective gear, among others the weight of the fore and aft antiballistic plates, is generally directed down via the structural fork elements to the main belt on the hips. This feature provides some of the core advantages over the prior art.

[0034] In a further embodiment of the invention, the protective armour gear of the invention comprises a right and a left structural lateral shoulder arch (4RL, 4LL) extending angled outward relative to their straight counterparts (4R, 4L), sub horizontally around the wearer's shoulders. The right and left structural shoulder arch (4R, 4L) also connected from an upper portion of said right and left fore vertical branch (1F, 1F) and an upper portion of said right and left rear vertical branch (1B, 1B), respectively, each structural shoulder arch (4R, 4L) to provide structural support for further armour plates, such as shoulder armour plates, or other equipment. Those elements may be arranged pivotal so as for allowing elevating the arms in the lateral direction, please see FIG. 2. Shoulder shields (9) may be arranged on the vertical and lateral shoulder arches. The shoulder shields (9) may be attached pivotal on the shoulder archers (4R, 4L) in order to allow elevating the shoulder or upper arm, e.g. for allowing aiming, climbing, etc, thus not restricting the mobility of the shoulders.

[0035] Rigid right and left junctions:

[0036] In an embodiment of the invention said right and left side junctions (2, 2) on said main belt (3) form generally rigid, non-pivoting junctions between said main belt and said left and right middle portions (1v, 1v), respectively. Initial tests on the mobility of the user indicates that a certain flexibility of the belt as such allows the user to move relatively un-restrained even with a non-pivoting junction at the left and right side near the hip.

[0037] Pivotal junctions

[0038] In an embodiment of the invention said right and left side junction (2, 2) comprise a right and and a left side pivot axle or link axis (2, 2) extending horizontally out to the right and left side, respectively, on said main belt (3), and having said right and left side, generally "V" or "U" shaped fork structural element (1, 1) with its lower middle portion pivotally connected on said right and left side junction (2, 2). This may provide even more mobility than a rigid junction.

[0039] Draped structural elements

[0040] In an embodiment of the invention said left and right side "V"- or "U"-shaped fork structural elements (1, 1) are each shaped as a bent plate-shaped element with a common face of its middle portion (1v, 1v) and its fore and aft vertical branches (1F, 1B) draped along the right and left sides of the wearers' torso, respectively. In an embodiment of the invention at least said main belt (3), and said right and left fork structural elements (1, 1) are arranged in a body-near or tight-fitting configuration for being worn near the skin or just above the underwear. This may provide the smallest and more stable configuration of the armour gear of the invention. On the other hand, if the protective armour gear comprising it s belt and right and left fork structural elements is to be worn on over a jacket, the aft vertical branches may carry a backpack directly, interchangeable with an antiballistic plate.

[0041] The front and back armour plate usually is made to cover about half the width of the chest and back, respectively, as such providing no antiballistic protection on either sides of the torso. In an embodiment of the invention said right and left structural elements (1, 1) comprise antiballistic armour plates. Further antiballistic armour may be attached to the protective armour gear of the invention, such as antiballistic shoulder covers indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2, neck protective antiballistic cover (7), etc, according to the level of threat.

[0042] Composite forks

[0043] In an embodiment of the invention said left and right side structural elements (1, 1) are made in flexible and bending elastic fibre composite material or thermoplastic material such as ABS plastic, PC polycarbonate, PET. In another embodiment of the invention said left and right side structural elements (1,1) comprise light metal such panels or profile elements of aluminium or titanium. This will ensure light overall weight and high strength and durability of the protective gear.

[0044] The right and left structural vertical shoulder arch (4R, 4L) may be made as flexible and bending elastic arch-shaped rods of fibre composite material or thermoplastic material such as ABS plastic.

[0045] In an embodiment of the invention, one or more of said fore and aft vertical branches (1F, 1B) are provided with first internal channel (1FC, 1BC) extending along its length, please see FIG. 4. Further, one or more of said right and left structural vertical shoulder arch (4R, 4L) may comprise a second internal channel (4RC, 4LC) connected to one or more of said first internal channels. Such internal channels reduce the weight to strength ratio of the protective gear, but may further provide ventilation paths through the channels allowing air to be conducted through the protective gear to air outlets (4RCO, 4LCO) to prevent excess heating as such heating may prove a significant problem when wearing armour gear and combat equipment. Such ventilation air may be provided by a small pump connected to an inlet on the internal channels.

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