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Flak armour

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Cadian Guardsmen wearing Flak armour.

Flak armour is among the most basic forms of armour in common use by the Imperium. It is a relatively primitive form of armour, used most commonly by Imperial forces.

Contents

Effects and Construction

Flak armour consists of multiple layers of different ablative and impact absorbent materials designed primarily to deflect or absorb the majority of the force from a shot or blow. It is meant to provide defence against low-velocity, dispersed damage, such as explosions, shrapnel and ricochet material, rather than to protect against a direct impact, in which case the armour's protection is almost negligible. The ablative characteristics of the armour provide further defence against heat and energy based damage. Some layers commonly used include Carbon-fibre, Plasfibre and Thermoplas strips, although a number of specialised materials can be integrated in non-standard suits. Most guardsmen wear Flak Armour, a cheaply produced, lightweight armour vest provided en-masse to Imperial Guard units. A flak vest consists of a skeleton of lightweight, flexible metal. This skeleton is then wrapped in multiple layers of a high-tensile fabric that is the main protective component of the armour. After multiple layers of fabric are affixed to the skeleton,the vest is given its toughened outer shell. The same principle is used in the production of Guardsman helmets and bracers. Guards for knees and legs are also produced. Thermal-absorbent materials, applied to reduce the thermal signature of the infantry, help with staying invisible during night recon missions. Rarer still, Cameleoline is incorporated into the outermost layer of some Imperial Guard Regiments' fatigues providing yet more concealment.

Although it is a relatively ineffective armour, it is incredibly cheap and easy to make, requiring only a very low technology base, putting it among the most popular in the galaxy with a variety of races.

Distribution

Among the fighting forces of the Imperium, flak armour is mainly used by the Imperial Guard, PDFs and Navy, but is also common among other races such as the Orks, and up until their demise, the Squats. Due to the vast numbers of groups that use flak armour there is no standard appearance for it, and different Imperial Guard regiments often have different styles of armour tailored to their own environments and culture. The Cadian Shock Troopers for example use the most standard pattern of Imperial Flak Armour, tight fitting jackets or tabards with armoured helmets, whereas the Valhallan Ice Warriors incorporate it as a large overcoat into their uniform to also protect from the biting cold of their home planet. Ultimately, they all have the same effect in battle, and the design mainly depends on where the forces will be fighting and the traditions of that army.

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