Interceptor Body Armor
What is it?
Interceptor body armor (IBA) is a modular, multiple-threat body armor composed of ergonomically designed front and back ballistic inserts, an improved outer tactical vest (IOTV) that is compatible with the modular lightweight load-carrying equipment, deltoid auxiliary protector (DAP), and enhanced side ballistic inserts (ESBI). The IOTV protects against fragmentation and nine-millimeter rounds. The enhanced small arms protective insert (ESAPI) plates can withstand multiple small-arms hits. Attachable throat and groin protectors provide increased protection, and webbing attachment loops on the front of the vest allow Soldiers to tailor loads to meet mission needs.
What has the Army Done?
The latest version of the IBA is a joint service item designed and developed to incorporate the requirements of the Army and the Marines. This system was designed to replace the interim small arms protective overvest (ISAPO) and the personnel armor system ground troop vests. Additionally, the Army has augmented the IBA with a DAP capability and side plates. The DAP increases protection for the deltoid and auxiliary parts of the body against fragmentation. The side plates have the same ballistic characteristics as the ESAPI and will provide increased ballistic protection to Soldiers.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army began fielding the IOTV in the fourth quarter of 2007. Because it is a side opening vest, the IOTV covers a greater area than does the current vest; moreover, it weighs three pounds less. The most significant improvement is a quick release, which was designed to allow Soldiers to quickly doff the IOTV in an emergency. The Army is conducting Soldier protection demonstrations to identify the next generation of body armor and to improve the performance and comfort of the existing Soldier protection equipment.
Why is it important to the Army?
The U.S. Army leadership considers the protection of Soldiers to be its highest priority. The IBA is the cornerstone of the Army’s Soldier force protection strategy. It provides our Soldiers with unprecedented protection against lethal bullet and fragmentation wounds.