Zodiac last month unveiled Armorflate (patent pending), a system it is touting as the world's first bullet
-resistant system for Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC). The innovative product, undoubtedly created to fulfill the burgeoning need for combat and security craft in the wake of previous terrorist attacks, was unvelied at the 2002 Multi-Agency Craft Conference (MACC), held at Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, in Norfolk, Va.
The inflatable Armorflate system made its debut on the Zodiac F470 CRRC inflatable boat, which has a long history of military and special forces operation. The Armorflate system is available with either soft or hard armor protection, made from a bulletproof material provided by Simula, Inc.
"This inflatable bulletproof system will revolutionize the way combat and security missions are conducted on the water," said Rick Scriven, vice president of Zodiac Professional Products. "Armorflate provides troops with dramatically increased levels of safety in close combat situations."
The soft armor package can be folded and stored in minimal space and, when needed, can be inflated rapidly (in about 40 seconds) to provide armor protection for CRRC occupants and the boat's inflatable tubes. Hard panels can be inserted in pockets on the inflated soft armor panels to provide upgraded protection.
Armor panels provide protection to occupants from the waterline to approximately 18-in. (460 mm) above the rubber buoyancy tube of the boat.
"Simula is extremely excited to be working with Zodiac, the market leader in inflatable watercraft used by military organizations worldwide," said Brad Forest, president and CEO of Simula, Inc. "We believe that the Armorflate system is going to significantly expand Zodiac's product offering by giving their customers a dramatic increase in survivability for a wide range of applications."