Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) has entered a new market, with the patented “Gal” versatile protective suit designed to protect security forces during riots.
The lightweight one-size-fits-all suit was designed to provide complete protection for law enforcement officers facing extremely dangerous situations, allowing them full tactical capabilities to get riots under control.
The flexible lightweight suit weighs from 4.4-5.5 kg. (approximately 10-12 lbs.) and allows the wearer to respond quickly to threats even after being attacked. It can absorb massive kinetic trauma as it uses the suit’s materials to absorb and deflect impacts across a larger area.
IWI manufactured the suit with the option of three configurations: a concealed suit that includes an anti-stab/bullet-proof vest that is worn under outer clothing; an active search-and-arrest suit that is worn over a uniform and includes a tactical vest with bulletproof and anti-stab plates and a bulletproof helmet; and a full riot suit that is worn over the uniform that includes a riot-control vest, anti-trauma guards for the wearer’s arms and legs as well as the bullet-proof and anti-stab plates and helmet.
Along with being bulletproof and anti-stab, the suit can also be covered with an anti-abrasion and flame retardant material, allowing wearers to be protected from all forms of attacks they might face when dealing with violent riots. The bullet-proof and ultra-lightweight helmet also provides the user with additional protection.
Eilat Dakar, head of the Riot-Control Division in IWI, told The Jerusalem Post that the idea of the new riot control products came after he recognized that with the coronavirus pandemic, there was likely to be a rise in violence and there was a need for better protection for law enforcement officials who have been using the same sort of gear for over a century.
Dakar, who served in several elite units in the IDF and Israel Police before joining IWI, said that the company looked at to how best to protect the user.
“There is a picture of riot police in Chicago in 1911 and in 2011. And the gear was of the same concept. Most of the current type of gear, which already weighs a lot, tends to break in key areas and isn’t as flexible,” he said. “We decided to give the operator an answer to these problems.”
IWI also took into account the increase of women serving in law enforcement agencies, Dakar said. That made it necessary to adapt the sizes to allow them to fit both women and men. With the one-size-fits-all suit with parts that can be removed by Velcro, the gear is “flexible, versatile, and lightweight,” Dakar said.
It took six months of developing the gear, called Gal (the Hebrew word for “wave”). It is currently undergoing tests by various law enforcement agencies.
The gear, said Dakar, “is in another league. We didn’t miss anything.”