The US Army has developed a soldier scanning system in a bid to provide soldiers with correctly sized equipment.

Previously the number of uniform and body armour sizes available at the Central Issue Facilities (CIF) was determined by predictions based on previous demand levels and an extensive measurement survey of soldiers carried out in the late 1980s.

The 1988 survey provided a ‘best guess’ estimate of soldier sizes but the Army’s demographics have changed dramatically in the past two decades with regards to ethnicity and gender.

The Uniform System for Improved Tariffs (USFIT) programme will use 3D anthropometric scanners to record the shape of a soldier’s body and provide a better size prediction for clothing and equipment.

The data will be loaded onto a database, which will allow orders to be placed based on current requirements instead of past demand.

The data will be made available to contractors and developers to work out sizing for current and next generation clothing and equipment system requirements.

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Reported by Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh