The Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV)
, is a modular, lightweight tactical vest developed in close cooperation with the U.S. Army to supersede the current body armor system, providing greater ballistic protection and improved user comfort over the OTV. The IOTV is currently produced by Point Blank Body Armor, BAE Systems, KDH Defense Systems, Protective Products Enterprises, UNICOR and Creative Apparel Associates. The IOTV first saw action in combat with U.S. Army ground combat units in late 2007/early 2008 and along with the Interceptor body armor currently remains the standard body armor type used by regular U.S. Army ground combat units overseas.
Protection that the IOTV provides the soldier, reflects in the fact that it can withstand a direct impact from a 7.62 mm (both NATO and ex-Soviet types) on the front or rear plates (SAPI NIJ standard III), however, with the new ESAPI plates protection is increased to armor-piercing rounds (NIJ standard IV). The IOTV provides, without the ballistic ceramic plates inserted, protection from small caliber rounds (i.e. 9mm) and fragmentation. The soft Kevlar panels have been tested to stop 9 mm 124 grain full metal jacket bullets at 1,400 ft./s (426 m/s) with minimal deformation and has a V-50 of roughly 1,525 ft./s (465 m/s). This means that the bullet has to be traveling faster than 1,525 ft./s for it to have more than a 50% chance of breaking through the soft armor panel. The system is compatible with Small Arms Protective Inserts (SAPI), Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts (ESAPI) and Enhanced Side Ballistic Inserts (ESBI).
The IOTV is designed to take the weight of the vest off the shoulders and move it to the lower torso and provides the ability to don the vest in two ways. The first is to simply place the vest over the head and pull down, and the second is to remove fasteners on the wearer's left shoulder, sliding into the vest to the right. To complete the procedure for both methods the wearer then lifts up the front panel of the vest and fastens the waistband, which takes the weight of the vest off the shoulders somewhat, and then fastens the side protection modules.
The vest is also equipped with a mesh inner cover that is designed to improve airflow inside of the armor. There is also a back pad in the lower back area of the vest, which is designed to defeat fragmentation impacts to the lower back/kidney areas. However, the back pad does not provide ballistic protection.
The IOTV is compatible with all auxiliary components (yoke/collar, throat protector and groin protector) associated with Interceptor Body Armor. BAE Systems' IOTV improves wearer comfort and overall performance compared to the OTV. Side closures, emergency quick release and medical access capability further enhance the system's performance.
A size Medium IOTV weighs 3.6 pounds less than a Medium OTV vest, while providing more coverage. However, a fully equipped IOTV, complete with all its components (soft armor panel inserts, four ballistic plate inserts (front and back plates and two side plates), collar, and groin protectors) still weighs 30 pounds (13.6 kg), with a Large IOTV weighing about 35 pounds (15.9 kg). The functionality of the enhanced side ballistic inserts, which provide coverage under the arms and down the sides of the torso, is built into the IOTV.
A key design feature for the IOTV is that the entire armor system is able to be released with the pull of a hidden lanyard. The armor then falls apart into its component pieces, providing a means for escape in case the wearer falls into water or becomes trapped in a hazardous environment. The hidden release lanyard also allows medical personnel easier access to a casualty, which was one concern that was not addressed with the old Interceptor armor. It also features a grid of PALS webbing on the front, back, and sides for the attachment of modular pouches and accessories.
This review covers the newest Live Resin torso/body armor set available on the market: BAE Systems' IOTV Improved Outer Tactical Vest with torso (LRE-35115).
Live Resin products come in a standard zip-lock plastic bag clamped in a cardboard 3D box-art. The front image is showing the parts layout, while the back image illustrates the optional resin accessories for this specific vest and how it looks when assembled on a figure.
The set includes 2 torsos with the IOTV body armor and separate groin and lower back protective inserts. Each torso piece is on a molding block numbered 124A and 124B while the protective inserts are on block 124C. I struggled to find any difference between the two vests but visually they are identical. The casting is as whatís accustom to Live Resin - astonishing. There are no imperfections, bubbles or any other types of defects in this sample. The molding stubs are thin and you will not have to worry about removing the parts from the plugs, or sanding anything off. Just a quick snip with your blade or sprue cutters and youíre good to go.
One common problem modelers encounter (especially modelers whoís primary focus arenít figures) when assembling is the proper alignment of arms to the figure body. Live Resin cleverly addresses this problem with square cut-outs in the shoulder recesses that accept the square pegs in the arms. This is not a new invention by all means, but the way itís perfectly molded it almost guarantees the proper fit. The same thing works for the head and the lower leg assembly with square cut-outs for each part. The protective inserts donít have any recesses but will go easy since they are thin and will stick in the right place with a bit of CA glue.
The look and feel of this set is great. The plate carrier looks heavy, and the weight pulling the carrier slightly downward is very natural in appearance. Shoulder pads look tight and all the pull-tabs are present and the folds are very realistic. Even the side body inserts are present and the loaded look is very realistic. The PALS attachment points are very sharp and will look amazing when loaded with any number of Live Resin accessories. The only little nitpick (I have to have something to say about this not in superlatives?) is it looks like it came from a textbook without any slight randomness I like Ė not that itís bad in any way Ė just my taste I guess.
This set is a very welcome as a start of your custom Live Resin figure, or a update part for another figure. The molding is superb, just like we are all now accustomed from Live Resin and once more body parts are available you will be able to make specific load-outs or replicate scenes from the battlefield to the minute detail. Welcome to the modular modeling world. Very recommended.
BAE Systems IOTV