The Military Army Blog

British Army to test portable air conditioning vest to save soldiers’ lives

The British Army would soon test on soldiers deployed in deserts a portable air conditioning vest[1]. The life-saving garment could bring down body temperature to as low as 20 degrees Celsius. The vest is timely since UK soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, including a brigadier in Basra, had to be evacuated because of exhaustion from the high temperature. By keeping the troops cool, the vest is expected to save lives of British soldiers at extreme temperatures, reports The Telegraph. There is a high-pressure hose and small aircon unit in a backpack or vehicle attached to the vest. The small family firm that designed the vest said that they were able to make it because of advances in cooling technology. But the ManPAC system is not just for soldiers assigned in hot climates, it could also be used by those wearing heavy protective gear such as bomb disposal suits.

Their purpose in designing the vest was to allow the soldier to think straight, shoot straight and survive in extreme conditions, according to Miles Cantley who co-managed to programme with his father Gaving at Stream Defence in Harrow. The vest weighs 15 pounds or 7 kilogrammes, including batteries. In the future, Cantley says the company could bring it down below 11 pounds in the future. ManPAC will be showcased in October at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), the largest defence and security exhibition, to be held in London s docklands. To be featured in the exhibit are hundreds of new defence devices. Besides the British Army, some Middle Eastern militaries are interested in testing the ManPAC, said Gavin, the managing director.

DSEI[2], organised by Clarion Events, will be held at the Excel Centre in East London on Sept 5-18. Expected to participate are 1,500 exhibitors and Armyrats © military delegations from different parts of the world, reports Ekklesia.

However, Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade criticises the event for underlines the hypocrisy at the heart of UK foreign policy for talking about human right and democracy, while promoting arms sales to some of the most abusive and authoritarian regimes in the world.

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