Soldiers and military personnel needn’t worry about groin area protection, as a special form of bombproof underwear, designed to shield their “private parts” has gone on sale at the Middle East’s largest arms fair held in Abu Dhabi this week.
The product, currently on show at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), is being marketed towards diplomatic staff and military personnel who wish to protect their vitals against possible attacks, reported a UAE local newspaper, 7days, on Wednesday.
The lightweight long johns were developed in a Dutch laboratory where they survived rigorous testing, including a grenade attack and gunfire. A representative of the manufacturer, Holland-based Blucher, says the underwear is therefore useful for soldiers in Afghanistan where insurgents commonly target troops with hidden Improved Explosion Devices (IEDs).
In 2012 alone, IEDs were responsible for 104 American deaths in Afghanistan.
“IEDs tend to come from the ground up,” said Hans-Jorg Wickert of Blucher, “so you need protection in the groin.”
He underscored the importance of the anatomy this product seeks to protect, “how much would a man pay to have full use of his private parts if he is injured in an IED attack?”
Wickert noted that some people would be embarrassed to discuss the safety of their lower body parts.
“Obviously, protecting that part of the body is extremely important...for all men, but some don’t like to think about it. But once people see the dangers posed by explosives they are more willing to discuss it.”
Made from flexible Polyethelene material, the piece is thin enough to be worn under army apparel, a business suit or even under a pair of jeans.
According to the company, the material is far more comfortable to wear than Kevlar and other bullet-proof materials.
“Anything tried on before was not easy to wear and not friendly on the skin. This feels like any other type of underwear,” said Blucher sales manager Michael Fielder.
IDEX is the only international defense exhibition and conference in the Arab region. It showcases the latest technology across land, sea and air sectors of defense. The exhibition will run until Feb. 21.