UK — Body armour saves soldier’s life in Afghanistan

A British sol­dier, recent­ly deployed to Afghanistan, has escaped seri­ous injury or worse thanks to his Osprey Body Armour.

The hole left in Ranger Ryan Boyd's body armour and the Taliban bullet
The hole left in Ranger Ryan Boyd’s body armour and the Tal­iban bul­let
Source: Sergeant Rupert Frere, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

Ranger (Rgr) Ryan Boyd, from 1st Bat­tal­ion The Roy­al Irish Reg­i­ment, would almost cer­tain­ly have been killed by a Tal­iban bul­let had he not been wear­ing the British Forces’ lat­est issue Osprey body armour.

One of the side plates fit­ted to the armour absorbed the force of the insurgent’s shot which knocked Rgr Boyd off his feet and left him with bruis­ing on his tor­so.

Rgr Boyd was patrolling ear­li­er this month with his unit in the Nad ‘Ali dis­trict of Hel­mand province when they came under attack. The pur­pose of the patrol was his unit who had just arrived in Hel­mand province to map the ter­rain and show a reas­sur­ing pres­ence to the local com­mu­ni­ty.

The insur­gents mount­ed an ambush on the troops but the Rangers suc­cess­ful­ly held them off for 25 min­utes before the artillery dropped 105mm shells on the ene­my, elim­i­nat­ing the threat.

Rgr Boyd said:

“Whilst patrolling, we came under attack from sev­er­al ene­my posi­tions. As I was return­ing fire with my Light Machine Gun, I was thrown off my feet and felt a sharp pain in my side.

“I told the sergeant next to me that I had been hit. He checked for bleed­ing and told me I wasn’t bleed­ing, so I car­ried on engag­ing the ene­my. Only lat­er when things had calmed down was I able to assess the dam­age.

“I feel lucky to have got out of this unin­jured but I think it just shows what a fan­tas­tic piece of kit the Osprey body armour sys­tem is.”

Lieu­tenant Colonel David East­man, spokesman for Task Force Hel­mand, said:

“Troops’ equip­ment is improv­ing all the time and will con­tin­ue to improve as new tech­nol­o­gy becomes avail­able. The lat­est improve­ments to Osprey body armour make a real dif­fer­ence to sol­diers’ per­son­al pro­tec­tion and this inci­dent demon­strates what a life­saver it can be.”

Osprey body armour pro­vides troops with pro­tec­tion bal­anced with the nec­es­sary manoeu­vra­bil­i­ty and com­fort for them to car­ry out their tasks effec­tive­ly.

Coven­try com­pa­ny NP Aero­space man­u­fac­tures the body armour plates used by UK troops in Afghanistan. The company’s Chief Exec­u­tive, Roger Med­well, said:

“The whole work­force who man­u­fac­ture this plate in Coven­try will be thrilled to hear that anoth­er life has been saved by their work.”

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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