Modular ballistic body armor system with cover sleeve

Abstract

The present invention relates to a bullet proof vest or more specifically to a modular ballistic body armor system having a self supporting plate holder harness with an attachable ballistic material insert and a replaceable material cover sleeve.

Claims

1 . A modular ballistic body armor system comprising; a internal plate holder harness having, a front panel, a back panel, the back panel including one portion of an attachment system, an adjustable shoulder strap assembly, an adjustable body strap assembly, a ballistic material carrier, having, a front panel, the front panel including a second portion of the attachment system, a back panel, the ballistic material carrier configured to removeably attach to the back panel of the internal plate holder harness using the attachment system, a cover sleeve having, a front panel, a back panel, and, the front panel and the back panel configured to form an envelope wherein the internal plate holder harness and the ballistic material carrier are inserted. 2 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 1 wherein the adjustable shoulder strap system of the internal plate holder harness is secured using hook and loop fasteners. 3 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 1 wherein the adjustable shoulder strap system of the internal plate holder harness is secured using one of buckles and snaps. 4 . The modular ballistic armor system of claim 1 wherein the adjustable body strap assembly is secured using hook and loop fasteners. 5 . The modular ballistic armor system of claim 1 where the adjustable body strap assembly is secured using one of buckles and snaps. 6 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 1 wherein the internal plate holder harness includes a plurality of plate holder pockets. 7 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 6 wherein the plurality of plate holder pockets is uniform in size. 8 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 6 wherein the plurality of plate holder pockets is different sizes. 9 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 6 including a plurality of ballistic armor plates inserted into the plurality of plate holder pockets. 10 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 9 wherein the plurality of ballistic armor plates is comprised of one of, steel, high-density plastic and ceramic. 11 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 1 wherein the ballistic material carrier includes a least one pouch for a ballistic material panel. 12 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 11 wherein the ballistic material panel is comprised of one or more layers of ballistic cloth. 13 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 12 wherein the ballistic cloth is comprised of a woven fiber matrix. 14 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 1 wherein the attachment system configured to removeably secure the ballistic material carrier to the back panel of internal plate holder harness is comprised of at least one of, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, snaps, and buckles. 15 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 1 wherein the cover sleeve includes an envelope opening. 16 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 15 wherein the envelope opening is oriented horizontally along the bottom edge of the back panel. 17 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 15 wherein the envelope opening is oriented vertically in the back panel. 18 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 15 wherein the envelope opening includes a closure comprised of one of, hook and loop fastener, zipper, snaps and buckles. 19 . The modular ballistic body armor system of claim 1 wherein the cover sleeve including a plurality of openings allowing protrusion of the shoulder strap assembly and the body strap assembly. 20 . A method of using ballistic body armor comprising: providing an internal plate holder harness having, an adjustable shoulder strap assembly, an adjustable body strap assembly, providing a ballistic material carrier, providing a plurality of cover sleeves, attaching the ballistic material carrier to the internal plate holder harness to form a ballistic package, inserting the ballistic package into a first one of the plurality the cover sleeves, wearing the ballistic package with the first one the plurality of cover sleeves, removing the first one of the plurality of cover sleeves from the ballistic package, and, inserting the ballistic package into a second one of the plurality of cover sleeves or laundering the first one of the plurality of cover sleeves and re-inserting the ballistic package into the first one of the plurality of cover sleeves.
[0001] The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application 61/721,491, filed Nov. 2, 2012. BACKGROUND [0002] The present invention relates to a bullet proof vest or more specifically to a modular ballistic body armor system having a self supporting plate holder harness with an attachable ballistic material insert and a replaceable material sleeve. [0003] Bullet proof vests or ballistic body armor, as commonly known in the art, typically are comprised of a carrier vest having a plurality of pouches or pockets where ballistic plates, made of steel, high density plastic, or ceramic are placed. The carrier vest may also include pockets or pouches where ballistic material panels are inserted; the ballistic material panels are typically multiple layers of quilted aramid fiber cloth, such as, Kevlar® or Spectra®. Ballistic plates and material panels may be used exclusively, or in combination with each other, to customize the level of protection and comfort desired. [0004] It has been found that there are limitations and failings for typical ballistic body armor. One critical area where typical ballistic body armors fails is where the ballistic protection moves in the carrier garment leaving an unintended portion of the user exposed to ballistic strike. Movement is primarily created when the weight of the ballistic plates cause, the plates to shift or slide down into the pocket of the carrier garment, or when ballistic material panels sag or bunch under their own weight. Movement of the ballistic plates may create gaps between plates and sagging of the ballistic panels may create exposed areas around the user's collar or neckline and under the arms. Movement of the ballistic plates and panels in lose fitting pockets or pouches create inertial force felt by the user, increasing user fatigue and an increased user perception of the amount of weight carried. [0005] Another limitation of typical ballistic body armor is that the carrier garment is the outermost layer and is exposed to the working environment. Law enforcement officers may be required to spend significant amounts of time directly on the streets or perform heavy physical exertion; military personnel typically operate in environments of dirt and dust whether drilling or in theater. This exposure means the carrier garment will need routine laundering. When laundering typical ballistic body armor, the user must remove the ballistic plates and material panels prior to laundering. In addition, the carrier garment is very complicated; having a plurality of pockets, pouches, straps, buckles, zippers and hook and loop fasteners, such as, Velcro®. When the carrier garment is laundered it is typical that device is a tangled mess when removed from the wash, with twisted straps and various pieces of lint and string trapped in the hook and loop panels. [0006] Typical ballistic body armor carrier garments are expensive and it is not practical to change out the carrier garment when the user is required to change color or uniform depending on operating conditions or theater. [0007] What is needed is modular ballistic body armor that securely supports the ballistic plates and material panels, is easily laundered and has a carrier garment or cover sleeve that can be easily changed. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0008] The present invention is a modular ballistic body armor system with an interchangeable cover sleeve. [0009] In one embodiment of the present invention, or modular ballistic body armor system with cover sleeve, includes an internal plate holder harness, ballistic insert carrier and external cover sleeve. The internal plate holder is configured to attach the ballistic body armor system to the user and support the weight of the assembly. The ballistic material carrier attaches directly to the inside surface of the internal plate holder harness while the cover sleeve is configured to envelope the entire assembly. [0010] The internal plate holder harness includes a plurality plate holder pockets which approximately cover the full surface of the harness. The plate holder pockets designed to securely hold a selection of ballistic plates comprised of steel, high-density plastic, or ceramic. The pockets may be configured to hold a selection of plates having uniform dimension or size or each pocket may be designed to hold a specific plate or shape of ballistic plate. In one embodiment, the ballistic plates are secured into the pocket using a closure system, such as hook and loop fastener, zippers, snaps or another suitable fastener. In yet another embodiment of the present invention, the ballistic plates are securely stitched or quilted into the internal plate holder harness. However, in each embodiment the pockets are designed to securely hold the plate to eliminate, or at least minimize, any movement of the ballistic plates. In the present embodiment where the ballistic body armor is enveloped with a cover sleeve, the pockets of the internal plate holder harness can be made smaller or more constrictive, since user will rarely need to remove the ballistic plates in order to clean or launder the harness. [0011] The internal plate holder harness includes shoulder straps and body closures to support the weight of the plate holder harness and any additional components of the body armor system. The shoulder straps and body closures may be secured and adjusted using hook and loop fasteners, snaps, buckles or another suitable fastener. [0012] The ballistic material carrier is configured to mirror the coverage of the internal plies of ballistic material. The ballistic material carrier includes one or more pouches where a layered matrix of ballistic cloth is inserted. The ballistic material carrier attaches directly to the inside surface of the internal plate holder harness using hook and loop fastener, zippers, snaps, buttons or other suitable fastener system. [0013] The internal plate holder harness with the attached ballistic material carrier is a complete ballistic protection package. The internal plate holder harness can optionally contain additional soft or hard armor plates for increased protection of vital organs. This self-supporting ballistic body armor assembly minimizes the risk of movement of the ballistic plates and ballistic material panels. In the present embodiment, by having the suspension of the body armor system in the internal plate holder harness, the ballistic plates and material panels can be held more secure and closer to the user's body, providing improve protection as well as minimizing movement and inertial force felt by the user. [0014] The cover sleeve is configured to envelope the internal plate holder harness and ballistic material carrier assembly. The internal plate holder harness assembly is inserted through an opening or slot in the cover sleeve and the shoulder support straps and body closures are pulled through openings in the cover sleeve allowing the straps to be engaged or adjusted. In one embodiment of the cover sleeve, the main opening is located proximate the bottom seam of the of the cover sleeve. In yet other embodiments, the main opening maybe a horizontal or vertical slit in the inside panel of the cover sleeve or it contemplated that the cover sleeve may be opened from the top for installing the ballistic body armor assembly. [0015] The cover sleeve primarily is draped over the ballistic body armor assembly; however, the cover sleeve may include hook and loop fastener, buttons or snaps to attach loose sections of the cover sleeve to the ballistic body armor assembly or for closing any openings. [0016] The cover sleeve is designed for easy removal for cleaning or to exchange the cover sleeve when operating assignments or conditions dictate. It is contemplated that a user may have a range of cover sleeves, including cover sleeves that promote visibility during public safety assignments, identify capacity such as police, EMT or swat, is camouflaged or is black for covert night-time operations. The cover sleeve may be worn outside the uniform or may be worn under the uniform. The cover sleeve may be constructed of a light weight nylon, Spandex® or similar material, or may be a protective nylon fabric such as Cordura®. The cover sleeve may also be constructed of a breathable waterproof material, such as Gore-Tex® in order to protect and preserve the ballistic material panels. [0017] These and other features and advantages of the disclosure will be set forth and will become more fully apparent in the detailed description that follows and in the appended claims. The features and advantages may be realized and obtained by the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. Furthermore, the features and advantages of the disclosure may be learned by the practice of the methods or will be obvious from the description, as set forth hereinafter. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0018] The following description of the embodiments can be understood in light of the Figures, which illustrate specific aspects of the embodiments and are part of the specification. Together with the following description, the Figures demonstrate and explain the principles of the embodiments. In the Figures the physical dimensions of the embodiment may be exaggerated. [0019] FIG. 1 components of the modular ballistic body armor system with cover sleeve, [0020] FIG. 2 the ballistic body armor assembly, [0021] FIG. 3A the cover sleeve, [0022] FIG. 3B illustrates assembly of the ballistic body armor assembly and cover sleeve, and, [0023] FIG. 3C the assembled modular ballistic body armor system with cover sleeve. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0024] FIG. 1 is one embodiment of the present invention, or modular ballistic body armor system with cover sleeve 500 including the internal plate holder harness 300 , the ballistic material carrier 200 and cover sleeve 100 . [0025] As shown in FIG. 2 , internal plate holder harness 300 includes supporting shoulder straps 310 with hook and loop fastener closures 311 , and a body strap, or wing portion 320 with closures panels 321 . As shown closures 311 and 321 are hook and loop fasteners, such as, Velcro® however, it is recognized that other suitable means for closure are presently available. A ballistic material carrier 200 having a body portion 220 configured to substantially mirror the configuration of the internal plate holder harness 300 , is attached to harness 300 using hook and loop fastener 201 . [0026] FIG. 3A shows the cover sleeve 100 including shoulder strap cover 110 , body strap or wing cover 120 , main body cover panel 160 and ballistic body armor assembly opening 150 . The ballistic body armor assembly including internal plate holder 300 is inserted, shoulder strap 310 first and body strap 320 last, through opening 150 into the cover sleeve 100 ; forming modular ballistic body armor assembly with cover sleeve 500 as shown in FIG. 3C . [0027] It is to be understood that the above mentioned arrangements are only illustrative of the application of the principles of the present disclosure. Numerous modifications or alternative arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure and the appended claims are intended to cover such modifications and arrangements. Thus, while the present disclosure has been shown in the drawings and described above with particularity and detail, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made without departing from the principles and concepts set forth herein.

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    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    US-2013232654-A1September 12, 2013Joe CamilloWearable sports guard