Russian Soldiers Have the Best Personal Protection Gear – Opinion

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Russian Soldiers Have the Best Personal Protection Gear - Opinion

Written by Valentin Vasilescu; Translated by Alice Decker; Submited via Agora Blog

The motto of the US Special Forces is “De Oppresso Liber” (to liberate the oppressed), which is defined as the spear tip for the imposition of democracy by invasion — or by training secret paramilitary groups with the aim of overthrowing governments that are hostile to the US.

To handle complex operations on the ground or on the water, in recent decades the elite forces of the main NATO armies have been equipped with modern, high-performance protective gear. The personal protection kit has several important features.

  • The soldiers are better protected with the use of equipment that is bullet resistant but at the same time allows more mobility.
  • Every soldier is provided with night-vision equipment, with detection sensors and optical rangefinders. These give the advantage of seeing first and shooting first. This enables the soldier to fight in the dark just as well as in daylight.
  • Instead of every man having a portable radio, they now have multifunctional data devices, which display in real time digital maps of the tactical situation, known enemy positions, etc.
  • Fire power is increased by the use of modern automatic weapons and grenade launchers that can be attached to the automatic rifles.

FELIN Personal Protection Systems

Fantassins à Equipements Liaisons Intégrés is the French version of “future soldier infantry equipment,” the most advanced in the world. Félin equipment weighs 24 kg and is designed in four variants: group commander, gunner, rifleman, and sniper.

Félin equipment consists of a bulletproof vest, ballistic protection for the feet and knees, a ballistic helmet (weighing 1.36 kg), with a protective visor and goggles with an anti-laser filter. The electronics equipment consists of portable computer with a color multifunction display. It has a voice communication system and a data link. The computer is also serves as an interface to integrate the soldier with a military transport vehicle — IFV (infantry fighting vehicle) or APC (armored personnel carrier). Félin also has night-vision device (which detects a person from a distance of 1,650 m) and an infrared scope with laser rangefinder designed specifically for assault weapons. To know the position of every soldier in the group, the Félin system has a radio transmitter in the RIF-NG (Réseau d’Information du Fantassin de Nouvelle Génération, or Infantry Information Network) interconnected data network, along with a GPS.

The group commander has a battle management system integrated into a laptop. The laptop provides digital maps and gathers data from each soldier equipped with Félin gear. With this management system the group commander can coordinate his soldiers’ actions.

Félin was tested in Operation Serval, 2013, in Mali, and is being used by the 200 French Special Forces fighting to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State.

RATNIK Personal Protective Equipment

NATO has expanded up to Russia’s borders and deployed American, British and German armored units near the borders of Russia. In case a conflict with NATO, Russia has equipped its front-line soldiers with individual equipment that is just as good as its NATO counterparts. On October 23, 2014, the Russian armed forces adopted the “Ratnik” standard equipment produced by the Russian defense industry. Apparently Sagem, NEXTER, and Thales have been contributing to the designing of the Ratnik equipment — the same firms that are manufacturing the Félin infantry equipment.

Ratnik protects nearly 90% of the body. In tests, ten 7.62mm-caliber bullets were fired at Ratnik equipment without it being penetrated. By comparison, by the tenth shot, the Germany or US equipment already had at least two bullet holes. Ratnik has the 6B45 bulletproof vest, 6B46 bulletproof shields for the thighs, legs and shoulders, and special 6B47 ballistic helmet. These all provide the sixth level of protection. The 6B47 helmet weighs 1 kg and is fitted with a 1PN139 thermal visor; a 1-P88-2 variable-range sight; and night vision. The sights and night vision systems are synchronized with 5.45mm-caliber AK-12 assault rifles, and the 6VM7 and 6VM7-1 (12.7mm-cal.) sniper rifles and the PKP Pecheneg machine gun.

In addition, Ratnik has the “Strelets” computerized system (“Musketeer” in English) for intelligence, control and communication. Strelets handles voice and video transmission and also has a satellite navigation mode using GLONASS. With the help of the Strelets system, the group commander continuously has the location of each of his subordinates on the monitor. This reduces the risk of friendly fire. Strelets also gives commanders who are on reconnaissance missions a way to send videos and photos of enemy targets to participating soldiers. Each soldier has his own Strelets tactical computer device, smaller than the commanding officer’s, the size of a phone.

The Ratnik uniform material is reinforced with a resin that contains carbon nanotubes (CNT). This resin is used in manufacturing wind turbine blades, hockey sticks and surfboards. The material is three times stronger than the usual stuff, and under infrared light it is only visible from two times closer than ordinary cloth. When used with night vision equipment, the camouflage uniforms printed on Ratnik makes it possible to distinguish between a soldier using Ratnik and those with a different type of equipment.

Ratnik comes with sensors that automatically transmit information about the medical condition of each soldier. When a soldier is injured, medical groups receiving the information can locate him by GPS, give first aid and take him to a hospital.

To obtain battlefield information, groups of Russian soldiers have a silent, mini UAV, powered by an electric motor. The Ratnik personal protection kit includes a gas mask, food and water supplies, water decontamination filters, a medical kit and a sleeping bag; it weighs 20 kg. Currently about 150,000 Russian soldiers are equipped with Ratnik.

CORSAIR- MP Floating Body Armor

The Russian Naval Marines and the US Marines used to be quite different from each other due to the different missions set by the Russian and US governments for these elite units. However, both are recognized for being highly effective, for high professionalism, and for having the latest technology. Russian marines have started to receive as standard equipment the latest floating body armor, “Corsair MP.” In recent years the Corsair MP floating body armor was tested, and training on how to use it was carried out, by Marine units at the Chukotka base in the Arctic, on the Bering Sea.

Corsair MP personal armor gives protection from projectiles, as it is derived from Ratnik. But Corsair MP also functions as a life jacket. Corsair MP keeps a fully-armed marine at the surface for several hours. The equipment has sealed pockets for ammunition (cartridge chargers, launchers, hand grenades), food and communications systems. Corsair MP also beats out all existing floating armor in the world; it allows Marines to shoot with precision in the water as their movements are not restricted. The equipment is a network-enabled ‘Air/Land & Sea Operational Bubble’ combat system.

Russian Soldiers Have the Best Personal Protection Gear - Opinion

Russia now has five infantry brigades and other “Spetsnaz” groups of marine special forces for actions at the shore with 13,000 active soldiers. Russian marines and Spetznaz special forces under the Black Sea and the Baltic Fleets have already received the first Corsair MP equipment, preparing in advance for possible challenges in these two theaters of military action.

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  • Dagnir

    > Currently about 150,000 Russian soldiers are equipped with Ratnik.
    Ratnik has several versions with different levels of protection. It is unlikely that all of 150,000 soldiers have the version described in the article. They are likely to have only the basic things – camouflage, vest, helmet, communication systems.

  • sólyomszem

    should be organised tournament a la hungergames. 15-20 countries send á 100 soldiers. only 1 team may survive.

    we will see immediately, which country is the best. :)

    • Ryan Law

      Afghanistan or somewhere would win every time, modern warfare is about applying irresistible force to the weakest point you can find a “fair fight” of 100 vs 100 wouldn’t favour any of the “developed” nations somewhere like Ethiopia or Sudan would win.
      can you imagine getting a Australian or a american unit to sign up on mass when they know that 80% of them wont survive the competition even if they win it

  • John Whitehot

    actually the USMC is not famous to have the latest tech, quite the opposite – having a much lower budget than the US Army means that many times the Marines got second hand equipment from the other services, in particular the Army.

    • John

      Spot on Whitehot. We occasionally had the good stuff. Frequently, we were asked to do more with the older gear. We also operated beyond legal limits, FAA rules and such, exceeded manufacturer limits, plus a bunch of other daredevil stuff. I flew in our bird, taking off from a carrier deck, when it was hard down and within 500lbs of airframe max. The rotorblades bowed up like a flower when we took off. Folks, that is an awesome sight with a CH-53. We were not jerking around, the plane needed to get parked on land for repair.

      We did things with our gear in conditions and terrain, one would expect to be normal during the 1930’s or even 20’s. I served in the 80’s. Most of the time our guys made it home but, you can only push it so far. It was a common phrase about it back in my day; they don’t mind and we don’t matter.

      • John Whitehot

        iirc, USMC units fought Desert Storm with M-60 (late marks) tanks, while the Army already had the M1A1 Abrams version.

  • Daniel Castro

    Which bring us back to the state armor and weapon technologies were in battle during the XVI century. At that age they were increasing the mass of plate mail to stop bullets which led to the creation of the heavy long barreled musket and the ultimate demise of plate armour… So, if battle rifle ammo currently can’t pierce these new bullet-proof vests, what will happen, they will increase the caliber from 762 to 8xx or 9xx, which of course will lead to a much higher recoil…

    So, are we walking away from the era of high rate of fire assault rifle? This and the increased weight and reduced mobility created by armor means a completely new age of combat tactics is looming.

    • Peter Magnus

      Speed beats armour, so unless you put active armour on People. You will sacrifice permanent wound cavity for speed ie. smaller lighter bullet in harder material traveling at higher speed. This is what we have started seeing With the PDWs taking over from old fashioned submachineguns. As the 9mm and .45 simply cannot keep up With bodyarmour Development.

      • Daniel Castro

        I know, but there is no miracle. Flechette’s have been tried for decades, too much problems, don’t work well on the rain, expensive, I don’t think it is a option. So it leave us light extremely fast AP bullets, but their speed drops really fast, so range effectivity won’t be that great, even worst against armor, as ever PDW are excelent on urban warfare, but if caught in the open they won’t beat a heavy battle rifle, and of course there is the problem of terminal balistics, piercing armor is not important if you don’t stop the target. I think of course there will be a huge development of PDW, but there are grounds for the development of heavier calibers.

        • Ryan Law

          nothing about this armour is going to protect against modern weapons id guided bombs missiles ICBM’s chemical weapons, biological weapons and nukes, the visor might help with nuke flash and lasers but i dont see much in way of microwave or other shielding to deal with the various directed energy (microwave sonic ext) types that drones ext are being fitted with.
          it will help you beat up people you have a serious force advantage over against a equal opponent its pointless because concentrations of troops will be the targets and this armors going to do nothing against a bunker buster

          • Daniel Castro

            Did medieval armour protect agains cannon, bombards, catapult, greek fire, pig mining, land mines, trebuchet? I guess not… those are strategic weapons, or large scale tactical weapons, but indeed war is ultimately fought man against man as the history of warfare has proven us over and over again. By your logic soldiers wouldn’t even carry small arms.

  • abuqahwa

    Three weeks ago I responded via AMN to a boast about US SOF with : I
    had direct experience, have seen a USARM recon team abort a mission in “Indian
    “country because their download link failed and the team leader was “deprived
    of real-time situational awareness data which degraded our operational
    capability sir ” Yes he actually said that !!! But worse, instead of reprimanding him for not completing the mission, his CO blamed “those **** rear echelon geeks need to get out in the field more ” This war in Syria has shown time and again that willpower, morale, and back-up (sustain ) wins the firefight. In the small unit (company or less) closed terrain urbanized action the soldier needs his weapon, ammo, water, face/neck cloth, poncho and ballistic helmet (more for protection against falling debris, ricochets, splinters etc.) That’s it. To burden the soldier with an extra 20 kg plus of personal equipment is ridiculous. All this stuff promotes casualty-averse tactics where no-one risks moving without their “real-time situational awareness battlefield display ” (for EVERY soldier in the platoon FFS ?) and micro-managment by unit commanders sitting at a laptop and issuing orders as if playing a FFS wargame !! Whatever happened to Auftragstaktik doctrine at the sub-unit level ?

    • Daniel Castro

      This is true for everything in our world, it enerves me everytime time I’m going to buy agroprecuary supplies in our cooperative as I have to wait sometimes half an hour or more just so they print the bill on their eletronic system, computers are a great invention but sometimes I think we are using them where they are not needed.

    • Ryan Law

      in a real war do you really want beacons on all your soldiers? , have they heard of hacking? sure its fine if your beating up hill billys but what if your fighting a nation that can acess what your looking at in real time and has guided missiles with 12000km range ? :P

      soldiers are obsolete in a real war it will be all about missile silos planes drones and subs
      all this gear is the sweet sweet cream the millitary industrial establishment gets through bribery coercion incitement and a little Alzheimers.

      if it was really built for war and not beating up sand hill billys it would have a lot more protection against NCB and projected energy weapons the laser reducing visor is the most useful part if it also protects against nuke flash

  • Russia has some amazing equipment.
    Yet still in engagements such as the one on (mid August 2012) the SAS seem to be spoiled rotten with equipment and always fielding better equipment against the Russians.
    Even lining the insides of their ballistic gear with graphene to stop modern day rifle rounds. (And it worked).
    I feel sorry for the more then 20 dead Christian-Russian Spetsnaz from that fire fight and chase.
    The Atheist-UK-Empire is always an enemy of every single Christian in the world.
    We all have a common enemy.
    The UK invented the lie that we are monkeys. The is open blasphemy against our Lord and Creator.
    Propping up the UK-Empire, props up the Faults Prophets lies.

    • John Whitehot

      what a load of bullshit

    • Ryan Law

      i killed your god and raped it bloody it was great, prove i didnt

    • Fraggy_Krueger

      Which SAS/Spetnaz 2012 firefight are you referring to?

  • Ryan Law

    so just like last time same company’s are making weapons for both sides of the world war
    damn people are dumb, you deserve all you get but i shouldnt have to put up with it along with the knuckledraggers