UK Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin has launched a new bullet-proof armour project undertaken by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
The new lighter, more flexible body armour has been designed to protect troops from bullets on the battlefield.
A unique synthetically adjusted ceramic material used in the armour can still stop bullets, the UK Ministry of Defence stated.
Baldwin said: “We’ve spent millions on innovation this year, developing technologies like a new way to uncover insurgents’ fingerprints to mini-drones that investigate chemical hazards.
“The goal is always to help our armed forces defend the UK, and this next generation of armour will make our troops even more alert and effective on the battlefield.”
A research has found that wearing ceramic armour reduces soldiers’ weight by 35%, therefore making them faster and more comfortable in a warzone while maintaining a high level of protection.
Dstl has been performing synthetic biology for the armour project for four years and is now ready to conduct hardness testing on the armour samples.
In addition, a scale-up process to produce samples that can be used for live-fire testing is currently underway.
The MoD has committed 1.2% of the rising £36bn defence budget to science and technology projects.
The funding was used to develop a pocket-sized drone and a mini-detector known as Snake Eyes, fingerprint technology to target criminals and Xbox-style controllers for 4×4 military vehicles this year.
The projects also include a laser directed energy weapon and a new lightning-fast protection system, called Icarus.