The flak vest was developed after an October 1942 report revealed that 70% of mortal wounds were caused by low-velocity projectiles. Designed in the UK by the Wilkinson Sword company, it consisted of a canvas vest was lined with overlapping square steel plates to allow maximum flexibility and protection. Pulling a central red ripcord instantly jettisoned the heavy 25 pound vest. UK production proved slow, and a US mass-produce dvest was adopted in October 1943. By January 1944 enough suits were available to equip all heavy bombardment groups in the ETO.
- The “Wilkinson Sword” version features color matched drab brown canvas, soft white corduroy backing, and nickel plated hardware. Complete with the bright red felt ripcord to eject the vest and characteristic "Broad Arrow" stamp.
- The more heavily reinforced US version features mid-war OD green canvas, subdued release tapes, and blackened hardware, complete with spec nomenclature tags and weight stamps. Each component can also be ordered individually.
This museum-quality replica painstakingly copies every detail with nearly 500 individual plates sewn into place. Weighing in at only 6.5 pounds fully armored, rigid composite plates provide the same scale-like texture and look of the original at only 1/3rd the weight. The economy version flak vest has a semi-flexible composite sheet liner that easily molds around the wearers body while providing a similar semi-rigid look and feel of an original (8lbs fully amoured). A full weight steel plated vest can be special ordered upon request.
Standard: Composite plates
Seated position: Armored chest & tapered apron, unarmored back: $325
Standing position: Armored chest & back, rectangular apron: $397
Economy - Flexible composite sheet liner:
Seated position: Armored chest and tapered apron, unarmored back: $199
Standing position: Armored chest & back, rectangular apron: $189
Premium: flak vests with full weight steel plates: special order only. Email for more information.
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Wilkinson Sword Version:
US Produced Version