Following operation Protective Edge, a new ceramic vest development was completed and its implementation in the field will be urged. The vest includes hard armor plates which are manufactured using new technology that reduces 15 percent of the weight compared with the vests that are used by the IDF nowadays: We managed to preserve the surface area and the ballistic plates quality of the previous vest but with less weight, which is well felt by the soldiers and affects their functioning in combat, said an officer in the logistic equipment department of the technology and logistics division. The distribution of the combat vests will start in the following weeks, and the first to receive it are soldiers of some infantry divisions.
The implementation of the new vests is part of a trend to increase the level of protection of the combat units and to reduce the amount of injuries caused by bullets and shrapnel. The process also includes a purchase of tens of thousands of improved protective eyewear with the beginning of the operation. Although there was a trend not to wear protective eyewear due to discomfort, we see an increase in the awareness to the importance of the subject, and more soldiers are using it in the operation. The protective eyewear, of a model called Sawfly, is manufactured by an American company that specializes in production of fighting equipment. It offers a higher level of protection than those currently in use. It provides greater protection against ballistic threats and includes dark lenses against sunlight and clear lenses that allow it to be used both in the strong sunlight and at dark.
Another innovation was the division of the purchase into 3 sizes. A soldier with a narrow or wide face structure can get protective eyewear that fits his size. When designing personal fighting equipment, it is important to take into account the balance between comfort and protection, and the soldiers deserve equipment that will minimize disturbance in the tasks they are required to perform. The protective eyewear will initially be supplied to the special forces operating in the operation, and later on it will be supplied to additional units.
By the time all the new protective eyewear will arrive, tens of thousands of protective eyewear that were purchased during operation Pillar of Defense had been distributed. The goal of this protective eyewear, of a model called Aegis, was to replace the protective eyewear used by the soldiers by then, but since there was no ground entry in the operation last year, the idea was rejected. The protective eyewear purchased a year and a half ago is more open and comfortable, and intended for use during any activity, and not only during operational activities, thus protecting the eyes area continuously. At the end of the previous operation, it was provided to new soldiers in combat roles as part of the medical corps’ kit “Shomer Ahi” kit, which also includes a CAT arterial tourniquet, earplugs and personal bandages. Tens of thousands of additional pairs of this model were distributed to the combat forces that entered the Gaza Strip during the current operation, including reserve duties.