The use of body armor in military combat is a feature that has been around for many centuries. From the Romans in their earlier days, to the English and their crusades with the popular chain mail, all the way to the high-tech, state of the art body armor seen on soldiers in the 21st century, this is a military feature that has constantly been evolving through the years. These days, body armor has advanced to the stage of being bulletproof, so a shot to the body is either stopped, or slightly hindered, thanks to outstanding synthetic fibers such as Kevlar or Zylon.
One of the biggest downsides to body armor in the past, and even during the 21st century, is the lack of mobility created by the material you are in. Fortunately for current soldiers, and the future fighters of wars, some advanced scientific technology is potentially helping body armor for combat soldiers be much more versatile and innovative so form and function can come together to create the perfect shield.
One of the newest and coolest features possibly coming into play is a new type of body armor being inspired by nature, specifically, animals that feature a wide array of scales. A team at MIT is currently developing new technology that takes different features from multiple animals, such as fish, snakes, and butterflies.
Flexibility and mobility is one of the key features any soldier needs in the line of duty in order for them to do their job to the best of their abilities. These animals that have scales, traditionally have a very strong natural body armor, combined with great mobility and agility. These scales can provide excellent camouflage, as well as great strength and versatility.
Thanks to the studies at MIT, they are creating 3D prototype materials that are the ideal combination of protection and flexibility to give the soldier the best all around armor they could possibly need. Unfortunately, this type of body armor is still early in it’s research and development, and has yet to do some important things they will be looking for, such as the ability to stop a bullet.
For the future of the military, body armor is a topic of conversation that will continue to be at the top of the queue. With continued innovation and technological advancement, we should definitely see more and more of these unique selections available for the military to better protect them.