Clothing and apparel specialist 5.11 Tactical is promoting several new technologies to the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa, Florida this week.
According to David Hein, Vice President at 5.11 Tactical, the company is conducting demonstrations of its HEXGRID load bearing solution as well as its XPRT range of clothing to procurement representatives from across the USSOCOM Component Commands.
HEXGRID technology, displayed at the show on 16 May 2017 integrated onto a plate carrier as well as mounted on a wall, comprises patent-pending technology which allows operators to attach ammunition, utility and other pouches/accessories to apparel and equipment, “at a variety of angles,” unlike legacy MOLLE options which rely upon vertical integration exclusively.
According to 5.11 Tactical documents, the HEXGRID solution allows operators to build their chest rig, body armour or platforms upon their personal preference or specific mission needs with Hein explaining to MONS how the solution would also encourage enhanced ergonomic benefits to users.
Speaking to MONS at SOFIC, defence sources explained how many operators currently rely upon plasti-cuffs to attach MOLLE pouches to plate carriers and chest rigs at ‘alternate angles’.
The HEXGRID plate wrap material is attached over the front panel of a plate carrier and secured using VELCRO technology with Hein explaining how the company was also seeking to integrate material onto bags, backpacks, clothing and even vehicle rigs in the future.
“HEXGRID provides maximum versatility for how you mount your pouches and web gear,” Hein explained while describing how the ultralight modular material was also being marketed abroad to the international special operations community. "We are pitching Hexgrid to USSOCOM this week,” Hein confirmed.
Meanwhile, 5.11 Tactical was pitching its range of XPRT clothing which continue to be evaluated by undisclosed Special Operations Forces globally. The family of clothing has been designed using a blend of cotton and cordura nylon providing operators with a ‘no melt/no drip’ capability on the battlefield.
Clothing, which is available in Multicam and multiple other colours, also features a Kevlar-lined collar for stab protection; shoulder padding for protection against plate carrier movement; and a breathable ‘Accordion-like’ solution pumping air under the shirt whenever the arms are moved. Arms also feature a gusset for increased ventilation, Hein described to MONS.
XPRT trousers also feature moisture wicking capabilities as well as magnetic closures in pockets as well as internal capacity to carry two 5.56mm 30-round magazines in a covert or discreet fashion. Trousers also feature D30-technology knee pads as well as a Kevlar-lined crotch for ballistic protection.
The XPRT range of clothing has been designed following extensive cooperation with special operations, law enforcement and counter-terrorism units around the World, Hein added. Trousers also include a total of seven pockets, including low profile front utility chest pockets, zippered bicep pockets, patented pen pockets and a small utility pocket on the right forearm.