Previously we have looked at the Enhanced Combat Body Armour cover in Disruptive Pattern Camouflage, Desert Disruptive pattern camouflage and Multi Terrain Pattern Camouflage. Today we look at a fourth variant of the ubiquitous body armour cover, the difference this time being that it is coloured to make the wearer very obvious, rather than to camouflage them. When on UN operations British troops wear light blue helmet covers and body armour covers to clearly highlight to all that they are working under the auspices of the United Nations. This ECBA cover then is in UN blue:
This cover is quite an early production version of the cover, dating from between 1993 and 1995. This date can be determined by the lack of a rank slide on the front plate pocket:
This body armour was first introduced in 1993 and by 1995 the covers were modified with a chest mounted rank slide to match the newly introduced CS95 uniform.
The 1993 modification was to add hard plates over the heart on both the front and the rear of the body armour:
At the base of the rear is a hanging tab with a fitting to allow the body armour to be attached to a PLCE belt to prevent it riding up. The fastex clip allows this to be seperated quickly in an emergency if needed:
To offer some size adjustment, tapes are fitted to both sides of the body armour covers which pass through plastic buckles and secure back on themselves with Velcro:
As well as the hard plates, these covers were also used in conjunction with soft armour, there being a long velcroed flap across the inner back to allow the filler to be fitted:
The label sewn into the rear of the cover indicates that this was made by Dashmore clothing and contains the usual stores and care instructions:
This then makes four different ECBA covers in the collection. As far as I am aware the last example to find now is the dark blue version used by journalists and civilians such as MOD employees in a war zone, this pattern being the hardest variation to track down.