Updated: Jan 4
There's been a massive surge in the last few years of gear that's being brought to market for the defence industry. The demand for new and innovative tech has exponentially increased in response to the growing complexities of war that our soldiers face. While this unprecedented growth of the industry has given us endless options and more accessibility to gear than ever before, it has also spawned countless companies that are less motivated to bring innovation to the market and more concerned with throwing some multicam cordura together just so they can brag about being in this line of business at SHOT. If the tactical nylon industry were a herd, there are more than a few who are quite content with following from behind.
Still, there are those like the team at Line of Fire Defence, who will stop at nothing to lead the pack.
Line of Fire Defence Systems pinnacle achievement is their SCAR (Scalable Combat Assault Rig). A modular plate carrier with all the ergonomic and functional engineering of a NASA space suit (quite literally), Line of Fire's SCAR is a clear and concise example of how far ahead of the game they truly are.
ADAPTIVE COMPONENT SYSTEMS
With the world’s first field-repairable plate carrier, the Adaptive Component Systems™ (ACS) allows certain components to be field repairable by the operator. Buckles, the Yoke, Cummerbund or any other smaller components that become damaged or wear with time can now be replaced quickly and easily in the field without the need to see a MAT TECH or with any additional equipment.
No longer will you have to throw the baby out with the bath water, as any individual component part can be replaced without having to replace the entire carrier.
ACS™ also allows for a range of interchanging between certain LOF carriers and components. Instead of purchasing multiple rigs, you can configure a single platform for a range of mission requirements - saving time and money.
IMPACT reduces the chance and severity of secondary injury by diffusing kinetic impact of incoming rounds. Essentially, the SCAR has points of contact that increase the surface area throughout the carrier, meaning if you are hit - it's gonna hurt a hell of a lot less.
In their tests, LOF's Impact technology has been shown to reduce the energy transferred from the plate to the wearers body by up to 20%, which will greatly increase survivability.
In addition to this, the increased surface area also aids in the improvement of airflow, comfort and mobility.
One of my favourite features of the SCAR is the long overdue replacement of weaker plastic components with nearly indestructible aluminum Cobra Buckles. Equipped with one on both shoulder straps and on each side of the cummerbund, these buckles give the carrier itself unrivalled durability, and the wearer the confidence to know that this thing can endure hell or high water.
To give some perspective, a full grown saltwater crocodile has the strongest bite of any animal on the planet, slamming it's mouth shut with 16.4kN of force. The Cobra buckles are rated even higher than this, being able to withstand an incredible 18kN of force.
YOKE Another unique feature of the SCAR is the replacement of the classic shoulder straps with a backpack-style yoke. The first thing we noticed with the yoke is how it disperses the carrier's weight evenly across your back, which in turn allows your body to carry the weight more easily.
This is a considerable improvement in not only comfort but mobility, as all the weight of ballistic plates and hundreds of rounds of ammo now sit even across the wearers frame. A welcome change from the classic shoulder straps that place the entirety of the weight on two thin straps that dig into your shoulders.
CUMMERBUND With the addition of a rigid and adjustable cummerbund, the SCAR holds tight all the weight of plates and ammo in close comfort to the center of your mass. Because of it's adjustability, you can customize the fit to make for absolute zero shifting during dynamic drills, making this carrier especially ideal for urban operations where a lot of movement is involved.
Sitting just above the hip bones, the cummerbund has enough rigidity to hold comfortably tight to the torso while still allowing for unrestricted movement and rotation of the hips. Unlike the more common, less rigid cummerbunds of so many other carriers, the SCAR's cummerbund actually helps take some of the weight off the shoulders by distributing some of that weight on to the wearers hips.
To anyone familiar with long rucks and heavy weight - this additional load bearing feature is worth its weight in gold.
Probably the most remarkable feature of this carrier can't actually be seen, as it's an internal fabric that's woven throughout.
Outlast technology is a heat mitigating fabric that keeps the wearer comfortable in both hot and cold climates. Originally developed for NASA, Outlast utilizes phase change materials (PCM) that absorb, store and release heat as needed.
It's comparable to ice in a drink; as it changes from solid to liquid form it absorbs heat and cools the drink, keeping that drink at the desired temperature for longer. As the wearer gets hot, the heat is absorbed - and as they cool down, that heat is then released.
An invaluable piece of technology considering that both the Soldier and Police Officer of today are constantly moving. Wether that's patrolling the streets, sprinting during a section attack, and everything in between - they are constantly moving.
While the sweat you work up won't bother you when you're on the move, it can become deadly in extreme weather conditions when you stop.
Outlast is different from wicking technology in that it's goal is the prevention of sweat, not the management of it. Wicking technology manages moisture by reacting to your sweat and pulling it away from the skin. Outlast will proactively manage heat while controlling the production of moisture before it even begins.
Utility: High mobility, modular.
Application: Patrol / CQC.
Outlast Thermal Management System.
AustriAlpin Cobra buckles.
Weight: 1.120kg (2.47lbs)
MASS // Heavyweight Middleweight Lightweight Feather
DURABILITY // Impregnable Durable Average Delicate
+Modular construction allows for component replacement.
+Yoke makes for comfortable load bearing.
+Outlast Thermal Management System regulates body temperature.
-Only available in 10x12 (SAPI 9½ x 12½) plate size.
-Velcro on front panel is reversed, will not accept other platforms (Haley D3CR, Spiritus Micro Fight, Ferro Concepts Dangler).
-Certain sizes of cummerbund may overlap within front slots, creating a minor but uncomfortable protrusion.
With an abundance of innovative features such as Outlast technology, and the ergonomic design of the Yoke and Cummerbund, Line of Fire Defence has designed a plate carrier to rival all other carriers.
With extraordinary attention to detail and a passion for innovation, LOF will no doubt change the way you look at plate carriers from now on.