The Finnish Defence Forces will continue to improve the infantry soldier’s personal ballistic protective gear by purchasing more of M17 plate carrier vests. Protective vests protects the wearer against various external threats, especially bullets and fragments. Well-functioning and appropriate protective gear improves service safety both in training and in crisis situations and this will also improve the capabilities and combat endurance of troops. Special attention is placed on the needs and requirements of the soldier’s gear. The personal gear and equipment required for a specific task can be packed and placed in equipment pockets and in a rucksack panel that are attached to the vest. The protective vests will be purchased from the Finnish company C.P.E. Production Oy. The overall value of the procurement without value added tax is nearly EUR 7 million.
The M17 plate carrier vest provides good ballistic protection against mortar projectile fragmentation and, with its supplementary plates, also against rifle caliber bullets. The tactical vest design pays special attention to the needs and requirements set for the new combatant equipment. This allows for attaching mission-specific equipment pockets and a rucksack panel to the vest for task-dependent personal equipment and kit, such as the new personal role radio system, weapons’ magazines, respirator and canteen. The plate carrier vest remains adjustable to fit the end user. The new M17 plate carrier vest together with the new combatant equipment continues to enhance troops’ survivability.
In addition, the Finnish Defence Forces will procure equipment pocket sets that can be used for all load carrying vests with straps and protective vests. They enable soldiers to attach personal combat equipment to their protective vests (weapon magazines, grenades, first aid equipment, etc.). The M05 patterned pocket sets that increase the camouflage effect for the soldier’s equipment will be provided by Finn-Savotta Oy. The overall value of the procurement without value added tax is about EUR 13 million. Both purchases will be financed from the supplementary budget, which included additional funding for rapidly launched defence materiel procurements. Funding from the national defence development programme has also been used to procure the pocket sets.