The EOD 9 Suit has been the market leading bomb suit for a number of years, but it has seen stiff competition from the likes Morgan/NP Aerospace, Garant and United Defence over the past few years. The launch of their new EOD 10 suit is going to start the race again as leading EOD teams starting looking for the latest, and safest, suit.
The new system will apparently offer enhanced functionality and is the result of ‘an aggressive development program that challenged conventional thinking on bomb suit design.’ The Med ENG/Safariland team are claiming significant improvements in weight reduction and physical mobility, have applied new technology, while increased protection levels. Traditionally it is a compromise between these elements, so if they have pulled it off then it will be quite the coup.
The suit is a remarkable 15 percent lighter; the helmet has been redesigned; and weight carriage/loading redistributed to maximize range of motion. This enhanced load distribution, impact protection and ventilation has a patent pending system and a Human Factors Engineering program has apparently confirmed that these advancements reduce physical strain, allow longer missions without fatigue and enable users to more easily overcome obstacles and conduct challenging tasks, such as vehicle or building searches.
The EOD 10 also integrates digital technologies, such as the voice command system in the helmet that controls numerous functions to keep the user’s hands free. A wrist-mounted remote control unit with icon-based menu screens serves as an information hub and provides visual and audio warnings, in addition to controlling numerous functions such as communications, lights and ventilation. The helmet enhances situational awareness by using digital microphones and stereophonic speakers to detect the directional source of nearby sounds, all the while shielding the radio frequency signals and stopping them affecting an RCIED or interfering with its electronic systems.
There are new capabilities in the areas of cooling, illumination and casualty aid. To mitigate heat stress, the jacket and helmet both have integrated evaporative cooling systems, users can illuminate dark spaces in a controlled manner and choose from white, red or blue lights based on their respective properties in a given threat scenario. In the event of an accident, the suit jacket facilitates emergency extraction and enables medical personnel to provide aid quickly.
“Users will be able to add upcoming options for advanced cooling and chemical/biological protection,” said Rob Reynolds, General Manager of MedEng.“But what makes the EOD 10 even more exciting is that it will serve as a platform to which new communication technologies and sensors can be added to better exchange information in real time and capture forensic evidence. This will be increasingly important as the men and women on the front lines face evolving terrorist threats. By providing capability-based solutions, Med-Eng will continue to support its global user base as they conduct counter-terrorism, counter-IED and military EOD operations.”