OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Professors at Oklahoma State University have developed a body armor system to protect soldiers from shrapnel and help prevent heat exhaustion.
A prototype was unveiled yesterday at a meeting of the school's Board of Regents in Oklahoma City.
The armor is made of a flexible fabric 15 times stronger than steel and can repel shrapnel and small-arms fire. The latest version adds interior pockets for packets that contain a chemical powder to cool the soldier's body.
Both features could be useful in combat areas such as Iraq, where the temperatures easily exceed 100 degrees and insurgents use car bombs to target soldiers.
The suit covers a soldier's arms and legs, areas now unprotected on troops wearing bullet-resistant helmets and vests.
With the cooling packets the suit weighs about 15 pounds and is supported in part by suspenders.