Inflatable boat manufacturer Zodiac unveiled Armorflate (patent pending), the world's first inflatable
bulletproof system for inflatable
boats, at the 2002 Multi-Agency Craft Conference at Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, in Norfolk, Va., June 18-20. The Armorflate
system inflates in about 40 seconds to protect troops and inflatable
tubes from gunfire. The inflatable Armorflate system made its debut on the legendary Zodiac F470 CRRC inflatable boat, which has been used for decades by military and special forces operations worldwide and combat tested many times.
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," he continued.
The soft armor package can be folded and stored in minimal space and when needed can be inflated rapidly (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."