The army receives ultra-sophisticated French NBC protection suits by Paul Boye

The army needs sophisticated NBC suits to protect its members from combat agents, hazardous substances and toxic chemicals. The Federal Office for Defense Procurement (armasuisse) has ordered around 220,000 of these operational and training suits from French company Paul Boye. The first ones have already been delivered, the others will follow until mid-2026. 

It is essential for the army to have the capacity to face nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) warfare assets. The most likely threats in this area are the release of combat agents and hazardous substances, as well as chemical terrorist attacks. Technical accidents linked to the manufacture, storage and transport of these materials cannot be excluded either. Therefore, an adequate equipment must be provided to the military for protection against chemical weapons, radiological and toxic substances, bacteria, viruses, toxins and irritating products. To that end, the NBC personal protective equipment is the solution. It includes a coverall, mask, gloves and overboots. The last time the army had acquired such equipment was in the 1990s. It is still used today, although it cannot compete with today’s textiles in terms of movement, breathability and weight. 

One-piece coveralls provide better protection NBC protective suits have now evolved significantly in terms of mobility, functionality and even protection. The current models offer a one-piece coverall. They provide much better protection for the wearer against combat agents and hazardous substances, especially biological weapons (pathogens that are highly medically harmful) and ae-rosol combat agents (a mixture of solid or liquid particles in a gas). Those coveralls are made of a more breathable materials and allow for greater freedom of movement. Spiez Laboratory had tested a new acquisition of the old equipment, but the idea was rejected because of the poor protection offered against biological weapons, a weakness that could not be corrected afterwards.

Some 30,000 protective suits received In total, armasuisse has ordered 160,000 operational suits with camouflage pattern. So far, more than 30,000 pieces have been received and stored by the Armed Forces Logistics Base (AFLB). They protect soldiers from chemical agents for at least six hours and prevent contamination (pollution) by radioactive material (dust, aerosols) and biological substances as well as their incorporation (absorption of foreign components by the body). Offering the best NBC protection nowadays, they remain effective even under mechanical strains. armasuisse has also ordered 57,000 plain olive green training suits. The first more than 3000 pieces have arrived at the BLA. Their use will begin by 2024 at the latest. They do not provide any NBC protection, but correspond in all respects to the operational suits in terms of handling and response to climate conditions.

The remaining part will be delivered up to 2026 The remaining 129,000 operational suits and 53,700 training suits will be delivered in several shipments by the end of 2026 at the latest. armasuisse is buying them from Paul Boyé Technologies, a French company located in Labarthe-sur-Lèze near Toulouse. This manufacturer also supplies the NBC protection suits to the French army.


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