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News Link • Military

The Craziest Combat Outfits

• Lena Groeger via WIRED.com
 

They might be garish or sophisticated, bizarre or comical, technology-heavy or explosive-proof. All sorts of suits outfit the men and women who work hard everyday – to fight bombs or keep the peace. Here we showcase a few of the cool, functional or just plain insane fashions fit for the fight.

The Bomb Suit

Defusing bombs? It might be handy to put this on. The 60 pound, armor-layered Hurt Locker ensemble certainly can't guarantee survival (it has the nickname "Demon Suit" for a reason). But it sure is your best bet against a pressurized explosion. With hard-armor plates on top of multiple layers of strong heat-resistant synthetic fibers, it protects against the shockwave from the blast as well as flying shrapnel. Here's a much more detailed explanation of how these outfits keep you alive. (And a photo of Danger Room's Noah Shachtman in one himself.)

And in case you're wondering, the current world record for fastest mile in a bomb suit is nine minutes and 58 seconds. What Staff Sgt. Jeremy Herbert was doing running that far, who knows.

 
 
 
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FELIN Suit

The French are coming. And they can spot you from 150 meters. That's thanks to the Fantassin à Équipement et Liaisons Intégrés, a French infantry combat suit. It comes complete with an electronic jacket, osteophone-laden helmet and an assault rifle that doubles as a wireless video camera. Information from the multitude of sensors gets fed back to the soldier through an interface on the helmet, allowing them to see through obstacles or in the dark. Plus, the 24-kg suit is supposed to be quite comfortable – its fire-retardant fabric is designed for maximum ventilation.

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