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The Beaufort Mk.3NL survival vest 
by: Sven Scheffers

This article covers more detailed information about the survival vest which is commonly used by helicopter crews of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the Beaufort Mk.3NL.

The Load Carrying Jerkin Mk 3NL is designed for the provision of personal armor, weapons and survival equipment. The garment consists of a waistcoat assembly, (fitted with a single piece of armor plate to provide protection for the front of the torso), a detachable flotation assembly and an inflatable stole.

The garment is constructed so that for operation over land, the flotation assembly (c/w inflatable stole) may be omitted. For operations over water, the flotation assembly and inflatable stole must be fitted.

The waistcoat is manufactured in three sizes, Size 1, 2 and 3; and the flotation ably is common to all sizes. Provision exists for waist and crotch strap adjustment. In addition, two webbing lanyards provide a convenient means of adjusting the position of the front amour plate.

The most common package method of the pockets of the Mk.3NL in the Royal Netherlands Air Force is as follows.

Left hand pocket:
- Pencil flare launcher plus 9 flares in etui.
- Break light Cyalume, green
- Signal mirror
- Compass
- 4 penlite type AA batteries for firefly strobe light
- 4 penlite type AAA batteries for flashlight
- Survival blanket
- Spare battery for PRC-90 radio
- Firefly strobe light
- Flashlight

Right hand pocket:
- Drinking water 2x 100ml
- Booklet sea survival
- Victorinox survival knife
- Whistle
- Signal Smoke/Illuminate
- First aid kit

Small pocket above left hand pocket:
-Wire cutter

Heed pocket: 
- When overseas: heeds bottle 

Back pocket right:
- PRC-90 emergency radio 

The flotation assembly comprises of a stole pouch and a stole restrainer. It is detachable by means of three sliding fasteners.

The flotation assembly is close! by touch-and-close fastener around the periphery edge of the assembly. Five snap fasteners, four at the lower left hand side arum one at the lower right hand side, are fitted to the closing edges to provide reinforcement in these areas.

The stole restrainer is conspicuously colored fluorescent orange to assist in visual location of the wearer when used in water. An aperture in the neck section, dosed by a sliding fastener, provides access for the insertion or removal of the internal inflatable stole.

The right hard lobe is fitted with pockets to house the oral inflation tube and strobe light. An aperture Is provided for the passage of the oral inflation tube.

On the left hand lobe an aperture permits the inflation mechanism of the inflatable stole to protrude through, and connect up to the C02 Cylinder which is retained in a fabric sleeve stitched to the stole restrainer.

Reflective sheeting Is located on the front to assist in locating the survivor.

With special thanks to Beaufort Air-Sea Equipment Ltd.


"Venz" /  "Hud"  flightgear on-line 2002/2003