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Mobile Rifle Armor Protective Shield (MRAPS)

Written by Jim Weiss

Baker Ballistics recently released the newest addition to its ballistic shield product line—the Mobile Rifle Armor Protective Shield, MRAPS™. This new shield has successfully completed all destructive ballistic testing. Developed to protect military personnel during CQB operations, MRAPS is ideally suited for tactical use during room entry clearing operations and active shooter response.

The MRAPS shares its unique functionality with the patented capability of the Baker Batshield by giving its operator mobility as well as the ability to aim and fire a long gun accurately from a natural shooting position.

Shields that offer ballistic defense against rifle fire tend to be very heavy; some are even wheel-mounted. In comparison, the MRAPS weighs only 17.6 pounds. Utilizing Baker Ballistics’ unique “Bungee/Lanyard,” the MRAPS can be easily and comfortably carried for long periods without user fatigue.

The shield also offers a full 4.2 square feet of ballistic rifle protection, enough to cover the shield operator’s head, torso, groin and femoral arteries while engaging a rifle-equipped adversary, and it has more than five times greater rifle ballistic coverage than typical ceramic/polyethylene vest inserts.

While on the move, this lightweight, innovative ballistic shield can be carried on one arm, providing the shield operator a dominating capability: delivery of accurate, centerline firepower using a military or law enforcement type of long gun.

The MRAPS is built for a fast, quick and nimble offense, while heavier windowed-and-wheeled, traditional ballistic shields are intended for defensive ballistic and observation cover for a small group of armed officers moving slowly toward an armed threat. Such wheeled shields are typically rated NIJ Threat Level Type IV and protect against armor-piercing ammunition rifle fire. The density of Level IV armor is 8 to 14 pounds per square foot.

The MRAPS is rated NIJ Threat Level III, protecting the operator against typical lead-core, military-type, full metal jacket ammunition, as well as many common rifle calibers using lead core or soft/hollowpoint ammunition. It is capable of withstanding multiple hits at muzzle velocities ranging from common 7.62mm x 39mm (AK-47/SKS) to 5.56mm ball and 7.62 NATO ball.

Recently developed military-grade polyethylene composite armor utilized within the MRAPS weighs approximately 3 pounds per square foot. This requires much less hardware than heavier shields yet provides users with armor protection that will not fall out of their hands after absorbing multiple hits of center-fire rifle rounds. 

The MRAPS is another ballistic evolution from Baker Ballistics’ Rick Armellino and Al Baker. Al Baker is a retired (1990) lieutenant from the NYPD Emergency Service Unit (ESU). During the 1980s, Baker was in charge of ESU’s equipment and was NYPD’s in-house expert on ballistic shields.

By utilizing MRAPS, a tactical team can respond to an active shooter in a spread-out pattern, bringing multiple guns and ballistic shields to a problem in a hurry.

Jim Weiss is a retired lieutenant from the Brook Park, Ohio, Police Department and a frequent contributor to LAW and ORDER.

Mickey Davis is a California-based writer and author.

Published in Law and Order, Mar 2011

Rating : Not Yet Rated


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