Moody tests new lifesaving device

  • Published
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

As the Air Force begins to change the way airpower is generated and moves to more Agile Combat Employment (ACE) missions, a critical need exists for next generation force protection and emergency ballistic and blast protection in tactical operations.

AFWERX teamed up with Moody to fill that need.

Team Moody invited TKM Unlimited Inc., an AFWERX Phase II-funded defense innovator, to provide a capabilities demonstration on the Ballistic Rapid Air Deployable System (B-RADS) technology.

“With ACE we’ve been trying to lighten the load,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Bratcher, 820th Combat Operations Squadron future technologies flight craftsman. “In the grand scheme of things, sandbags take more time to employ and don’t provide initial protection when we arrive at hostile locations. With B-RADS we can show up to these contested locations and quickly employ cover. That vastly improves the survivability and resilience of our people going in.”

This potential survivability is reinforced with B-RADS higher levels of blast protection than typical sandbags or ceramic plates. B-RADS allows users to employ ballistic and blast protection against threats at National Institute of Justice (NIJ) level III+.

“B-RADS is designed as a ballistic protection system,” said Thomas Milo, TKM Unlimited Inc. president and CEO. “It uses a special polymer-blend material combined with an absorbing inflatable air bladder that enhances overall performance … Most companies offer NIJ level IIIA, but B-RADS offers NIJ level III+ which stops everything NIJ level IIIA stops plus 7.62mm NATO rounds and M855 green tip ammo.”

The NIJ protection level is a detailed chart of the different weapons that ballistic vests and armored plates defend against. Each level protects at its own threat range and those of previous levels.

During the demonstration, B-RADS performance and protection levels were tested.

“The demonstration included a live-fire test with a Sig Sauer M18 and M4 carbine,” Bratcher said. “The first demonstration was utilizing a ballistic pad that did not have the B-RADS inflatable system behind it, and it showed that the impact of the rounds was far more traumatic to the potential person wearing it.”

Bratcher added that he was doubtful when he saw the prototype more than a year ago, but after the demonstration he was impressed with the overall level of protection B-RADS provides.