Over the last year we have looked at a number of different body armour sets, or more specifically we have looked at the covers for although I have touched on the fillers, we have never actually taken a close look at what’s under the cover. A chance purchase of a spare set of filler at The Yorkshire Wartime Experience (destined for my AFV armour cover) affords us a good opportunity to look at the body armour filler used in a large number of different British body armour sets. The body armour filler was introduced in time for the Gulf War and is made of a woven aramid and nylon, with a green PVC cover:The cover prevents water from getting into the ballistic filler which would not only add weight, but reduce its ballistic properties. The filler is excellent at stopping low velocity fragments such as those from grenades or shells, and it can also cope with low powered pistol calibre rounds, it cannot protect the wearer from high velocity rounds such as those fired from a rifle.
The filler has a broad section that covers the back, and two flaps that come down over the shoulders, leaving a space at the front for the cover’s fasteners to allow it to be easily taken on or off:The filler needs to be fitted into the cover the correct way round, so a small white label is fixed on both sides, one warns the user that is they can read it with the cover on, they have out it in the wrong way round!The second should be visible through the opening on the cover and includes sizing and care instructions, as well as the ubiquitous NSN stores number:As these fillers are still serviceable, with newer designs of cover, they have remained in service longer than the the camouflage covers. The covers are therefore really easy to find, the fillers are slightly scarcer but they are still out there and I am keeping my open for another couple to fit in various covers I have in my collection.