Video: New Load-Bearing System for British Troops

(Photo courtesy Source Tactical Gear)(Photo courtesy Source Tactical Gear)

Take a look at this cool video of a new load-bearing system developed for the British army.

The so-called Source Virtus Soldier System is a personal protection and load carriage product made by the Israeli firm Source Tactical Gear.

The system includes more than 90 components, but is designed to be modular and scalable — so troops “only carry kit you need for the mission you’re tasked with,” according to the video.

At the heart of Virtus is a dynamic weight distribution system — an adjustable spine that allows the weight of the tactical vest to be distributed between the hips and the shoulders while on the move, the video states.

The gear — which generated quite a bit of buzz at last month’s Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) expo in London — also includes a scalable protective vest, a lighter combat helmet with detachable visor and optional mandible guard, and quick-release mechanism.

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Brendan McGarry
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  • Snow

    How good can it be if it was not invented and developed by American engineers and industry?

  • Eric B.

    The Versus System is very innovative. Speaking as a hunter who has humped a full backpack (5 days food, tent, sleep system, LRF binoculars and .300 Win mag rifle I’d say this is a very good answer.

    BUT…the soldier must keep track of all the components, 35 of them I believe the video said.

    The single spine “frame” is good and the QR feature to shed the system is great for many reasons, especially to medics/corpsmen needing to treat wounded troops. I hope the large backpack has lift straps up top. These really help on steep terrain and for all day comfort.

    Now send the whole kit back for more dieting. I’m sure it can be done.Ex. Dyneema, a Spectra reinforced ripstop fabric, can be used in areas of lower abrasion, Cordura in high abrasion areas. Narrower webbing and therefore smaller buckles in non shoulder & waist straps areas. (The pull-to center hip belt adjusting straps is great. ALL of my packs now have that setup.) The U.S. MOLLE concept of a removable backpack lid convertible to a butt pack should be used, if it is not already designed into the pack.

    At least for spec. warfare units this system should be lightened. If it costs more then so be it. Most operators spend more time in training than pilots so why not the best for them? They need the lightest gear available, stuff like sniper rifles with titanium receivers and carbon fiber wrapped barrels for mountain operations, down sleeping bags and clothing, etc.. Ever carry 60 lbs. at 10,000 ft.? Not fun, even for superbly fit world class operators.

  • Lance

    Israelis making gear for a very anti-Semitic UK…. Strange times.

    I still think ALICE is better.

    • BravoBravo

      UK Anti Semetic? What rubbish.

      And having worn both sets, ALICE kit is pants. Wearing it makes you look like you’ve been dipped in glue and thrown into a random pile of kit. My USNG mates agree.

  • Leon Suchorski

    Wow, leave it to the Israelis to come up with something this good. After all, we give them so much foreign aid.

    • Larry

      Actually Leon, I think the quality of their designs and kit is due much more to the fact that they have been under threat or at war for more than half a century than how much foreign aid we give them.

    • Harald

      Money well spent.

  • LIAM

    British and Israelis ALWAYS make up good kit!! …

    • GMK

      British Army use is the best recommendation AGAINST buying an item I’ve ever encountered.

      • BravoBravo


  • just Dave

    It’s good kit, well made and a decent balance between robustness, weight and cost.

    When trialed, they actually took some of the criticisms away to think about and look at resolving. Unheard of in terms of British military procurement!
    However, we started hearing last week that we’re not going to be getting it in November as first communicated. I presume it’s down to having to get the seven different manufacturers of the various bits and bobs delivering at the same time….

  • aaron

    Looks good but too may working parts for my liking. I am not convinced by that spine thing.

  • Airborne_fister

    “It wasn’t made by bean counters or politicians or brass. It was made by soldiers for soldier”. BEST IDEA EVER!

  • Hamitt

    These have been around for quite a few years in many forms: Crye, Mystery Ranch, LBT all make a version. The U.S. Army has a flexible “spine” system that looks similar to this one and is in final phases of procurement, after years of testing.