By Nathaniel R. Helms
The United States Army claims it has not mounted a campaign to make soldiers shed their clearly superior Dragon Skin body armor in favor of the Army’s inferior Interceptor OTV. Over the last seven months Army officials have alternately claimed and denied that they know all about the capabilities of Dragon Skin, including Army spokesman Paul Boyce telling the Washington Post it would like to get hold of Pinnacle Armor Co.’s Dragon Skin body armor to evaluate it.
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, including PEO Soldier’s own ballistic tests conducted at two Army research laboratories that irrefutably proved Dragon Skin was a superior product, the officers charged with providing America’s warriors with the best protection possible continue to maintain that the Army’s home-grown Interceptor OTV body armor is superior. Apparently the Army officials charged with dealing credibly with the subject of body armor are simply unable to tell the truth.
The Fresno, CA-based company has been trying to get the Pentagon’s attention for more than five years. According to engineers familiar with Pinnacle’s efforts the Natick Soldier System’s Center in Massachusetts, PEO Soldier at Ft. Belvoir, VA, , and TSM Soldier at Ft. Benning, GA (TRADOC Systems Manager Soldier) were given the Pinnacle SOV-2000 “Dragon Skin” technology and allowed to select the rounds and shot placement to test it five years ago. The tests subsequently conducted showed Dragon Skin surpassed all other body armor technologies available at the time, Army tests revealed.
Witnessed statements were later made the same year to Pinnacle president Murray Neal – the inventor of Dragon Skin armor and its patent holder – by Natick Soldier Systems Center’s program scientist Dr. James Zheng, who reportedly said, “The SOV Dragon Skin system will never be fielded unless the technology and intellectual property are turned over to Natick Soldier Systems Center,” according to sources who spoke with DW upon assurances of anonymity. Neal never did give up his secrets and Pinnacle never received an Army or Marine Corps contract….Share