British troops to get 'combat codpiece'
Defence technology based on armour worn by Genghis Khan's Mongol warriors in the 13th century will be used to protect British soldiers against bombs in Afghanistan.
The "pelvic protector", which has become known among the ranks as the "combat codpiece", will contain anti-blast underpants to offer protection from IEDs. The equipment – which also includes a "jockstrap" to protect the nether regions of the wearer – is only being worn by British troops, but may be taken up by US and other Nato forces.
The Mongols, as well as Chinese and Japanese forces, used silk as protection against arrows, with the material twisting around arrowheads to blunt it. The modern version is based primarily on silk and serves to deflect shrapnel. The need to introduce the protective clothing and armour, which will cost around £10m, had become acute, with the increasing use by insurgents of "pressure plate" IEDs.
These are triggered by victims stepping on them and are responsible for a rising toll of casualties among Allied troops in the area.
Although the use of the outer armoured flap would be left to the discretion of commanders on the ground, the wearing of the underpants would be mandatory for any members of forces leaving military bases for a potentially hazardous area.
A third tier of protection, extended to the wider pelvic area down to the knees, will be introduced next spring.
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...