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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
(508) 233-5340

Date: December 10, 2003
No: 03-42

Media Advisory

Ceremony recognizes ‘greatest’ inventions

NATICK, Mass. -- Three Soldier Systems Center products awarded the Army Materiel Command’s Greatest Inventions for 2002 will be recognized in a ceremony at the Conference Center here at 1 p.m. Dec. 11.

The Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH)/Advanced Combat Helmet, Interceptor Body Armor and Cooling/Heating Body Garment are among 10 inventions Army-wide to win the award.

Media is invited to attend the ceremony. For more information or to make arrangements to attend, please contact Patty Welsh at 508-233-5945.

Six active Army divisions and Training and Doctrine Command judged the nominations based on inventiveness, breadth of use and magnitude of improvement over existing systems, and potential benefit outside the Army. Normally 13 organizations would judge, but because of ongoing worldwide operations, only six divisions were available.

After reviewing the 33 nominated packages, evaluators provided their ranked list to U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command for consolidation into a list of 10 inventions.

The body cooling/heating garment uses fluid-carrying tubes and provides both air and vapor permeability to promote evaporative heat transfer while also providing conductive heat transfer. The vest is worn close to the skin under protective clothing and hugs the torso as tightly as possible in order to achieve maximum cooling or heating. The vest was designed primarily to be manufactured with stitchless technology to save time and money in fabrication. Also, since it is tri-laminate design, it is far more comfortable for the wearer and efficient in terms of cooling vs. a sewn tubed or bladder type cooling vest.

Interceptor is the model name for the joint Marine Corps/Army body armor system. The modular body armor system consists of a vest with protective plate inserts front and back. Interceptor is 40 percent lighter with more protection than the previous generation of body armor, the PASGT vest. Users can tailor the ballistic protection worn to the level of threat, weight and mobility priorities. Individual components or sub-components can be replaced or upgraded. The MICH helmet provides 9 mm handgun and fragmentation protection in any environment. The helmet allows maximum sensory awareness for the user, which includes unobstructed field of view and ambient hearing capabilities. It also allows mounting of night vision devices and oxygen masks. The helmet's retention and suspension system gives maximum balance, stability and comfort, while providing the proper size, fit and ventilation.

For more information about the Soldier Systems Center, please visit our website at

This page last updated on 23 January 2004.