Malaysia is set to produce the lightest ballistic vest in the world which is partly made from coconut fibre. The vest, an innovation made by the researchers of Universiti Teknikal Malaysia, Melaka (UTeM) will be commercialized by Tembusu Resources bhd. The university has created the ballistic vest’s armour two years ago and production would commence within six months.
The locally made semi-organic body armour weighed less than 3.5 kilogram and cost less than RM 20,000 per suit, cheaper than currently available types. Tembusu Resources Bhd’s factory with the initial running capital of RM 16 million would employ 150 peoples within three years. The ballistic vest would be targeting local enforcement and security personnel market. There is also plans to export the vest to Asian market.
Prior to this, another Malaysian ballistic vest maker, Armour Factory Sdn Bhd has been producing a wide range of ballistic vest for military, special operation as well as law enforcement usage. Malaysia’s STRIDE has also conducted research on ballistic vest material to further improve its potentials.
Nevertheless, ballistic vest in MAF service is currently limited to overseas deployment as can be seen in operations in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Afghanistan (ISAF) and Timor Leste (Operation Astute) as well as for special operation units including GGK, PASKAL and PASKAU.