June 2 (UPI) -- BAE Systems and Helios Global Technologies have signed an agreement under a Memorandum of Understanding to develop liquid armor for ground troops.
Known as a 'custard'-style armored vest, the liquid armor is considered an improvement over standard Kevlar and ceramic plate models already in use.
Opposed to ballistic fabric like Kevlar and ceramic plates that are meant to shatter on impact in order to absorb the blow, liquid armor is designed to harden when struck.
It is hoped that it will be part of a future advanced armored suit known as "Iron Man," named for the comic book character. The concept would provide superior protection against standard small arms rounds and fragments from explosive devices such as rocket launchers, artillery or improvised devices.
BAE Systems' General Manager Canada Anne Healey said "Liquid armour could offer our troops increased protection but be lighter, allowing for greater maneuverability," Anne Healey, general manager for Canada at BAE Systems, said in a press release.
Liquid armor is designed to be soaked in Kevlar by ballistic-resistant fluids in order to provide better protection. In theory it would provide better protection at a lower weight than current body armor, the companies say.