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.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence referendum live: Latest news as Scotland votes Yes or No
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...