Bullet proof body armor has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last few decades. When I first joined the Army all they issued us were flack jackets, during my last deployment in 2020 they issued us brand new IOTV’s complete with SAPI plates that are rated to stop bullets up to 7.62mm.
Now the crazy Russians are boasting a breakthrough in body armor. According to Futurism, the state-owned military weapons developer Rostec says that its next generation of combat armor will be able to withstand a direct shot from a .50 caliber bullet.
The Ratnik suit is described as a swiss army type of suit. The Russians plan on integrating coms and NVG devices and turn their special forces into super soldiers.
Right now the 4th generation suit that will support the new .50 cal resistant ballistic armor is not out, and likely will be a closely held military secret when it does. However, we can look at the gen 3 armor, and get a good idea of what is going on.
The Ratnik suit, which consists of 10 subsystems and 59 individual components, includes modernized body armor designed to withstand 7.62mm rounds, a helmet with a special eye monitor outfitted with a thermal night vision monocular and flashlight, and integrated communication systems. It “also features a self-contained heater, a backpack, an individual water filter, a gas mask, and a medical kit,” according to Army Technology.
The Russian military has already been issued 300,000 of the gen 3 suits and they have already seen combat over the last five years.
According to Task and Purpose, Russia is way ahead of America when it comes to developing advanced Infantry combat gear. The U.S. has remained stymied by system integration issues, Russia has benefitted in its exoskeleton development from its ability to field test such gear in its weapons playground of war-torn Syria.
Details were not released as to when the new gen 4 armor would be issued and as best we can tell it is still in the development phase.