Silk underwear to protect soldiers

March 14th, 2012

This article is more than 11 years old.

Woven silk fabric designed to protect against roadside bombs

If you thought silk knickers were entirely for women, think again.

Danish soldiers might wear uniforms, armour and heavy boots on the outside, but on the inside it’s a whole different – and soft and silky – matter. According to Avisen.dk, the Danish army has purchased silk underwear for around 1,000 soldiers currently fighting the Taleban in Afghanistan. And before you think about making any joke, know that the military itself understands that their new equipment might seem a bit silly.

“We have laughed at them a lot, but there’s a method to the madness,” Army senior sergeant Niels Mølleskov told Avisen.dk.

The woven silk fabric is stronger than Kevlar, the high-strength synthetic material used in bulletproof vests. The undergarment is designed specifically to protect soldiers from roadside bombs, with the fabric working to stop infection-causing shrapnel, dirt and filth from exploding into the soldiers’ groins if they trigger a bomb.

“Back in the day the enemy would throw grenades at us, which we knew how to protect ourselves against. Now the enemy digs down roadside bombs, and previously the soldiers didn’t have a shield against those, but they do now,” Mølleskov said.

Mølleskov has tested the underwear himself, as well as another piece of new equipment, a groin protector which is worn on the outside to protect soldiers’ private parts.

“One thing is to get a leg or two amputated, but another is to lose what the soldier has between his legs. This is where the soldier’s manliness is, and it would affect his life quality if he came home without it,” said Thomas Nico Jørgensen from the army’s equipment service.

So far the garments have saved two lives and spared many injured from further suffering, according to research from the British army.


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