Andy Smith
MIne-action specialist
 

Manual demining protection

AVS Mk1 & Mk2 blast aprons

 

 

The apron concept was devised in 1996/7 as low-cost blast protection against AP mines in manual demining. I designed it with support from a small UK charity, the Sir Halley Stewart Trust. More than 500 were manufactured and sold by a commercial company in Africa. 

The Mk1 and Mk2 are identical except for the position of the collar. The Mk1 has a collar inside the visor close to the wearer's throat. The Mk2 has a collar outside the visor as shown alongside.

With a visor, the apron provides full-frontal protection against blast and the environmental fragmentation normally associated with the close quarter detonation of an AP blast mine. It is not designed to provide full protection against metal fragmentation AP mines (bounding or stake), but does provide significant protection in that instance. 

The woven ballistic aramid used in this design is flexible and comfortable. The apron is loosely secured with webbing straps and has a washable cover. It rolls up and is secured with its own straps for storage. 

There have been at least 25 accidents while wearing the Mk1 or Mk2 apron (including detonating blast mines in the wearer's hands) and the apron has never failed to protect the body fully. However, all mines are unpredictable and protection cannot be guaranteed.

Specifications
Nominal dimensions: 1.05 x 0.5m
STANAG V50 380m/s
Nominal weight 2.9kg (without cover)

The V50 of the apron can be increased with a polycarbonate chest insert, or by ordering the apron with more layers. Increasing the V50 to 450 m/s adds more than 1kg to its weight.