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The Remploy M30/30 life vests 
 
by: T Soetaert
Belgian Alpha-Jet and Sea King crews wear a different life vest then their F-16 colleagues. Not many people know the type or who produces them, so I went out to investigate. In the old days, Alpha-jet crews wore an LPU-10 and Sea King crews an Aerazur T-33 vest (just like Fouga pilots on overseas flights). In the 1990's it was decided to replace these aging types with one new vest. The chosen one was the M30/30 life vest made by Remploy performance textiles in the UK. The vest is produced for the Belgian Air Component in 2 versions.

The -M30 type:
This type is used by Sea King crews. the M stands for manual, which means the floatation collar doesn't inflate on itself for safety reasons. Imagine if a Sea King would submerge, the crew would be trapped if the bladder would inflate inside the hull. To inflate the collar, the crewmember has to pull a strap. Attached to the inflatable bladder are a snap-light (light stick) and a whistle. On the mesh are several pockets attached. The left one contains a Spare-Air emergency oxygen tank. The right pocket contains a signalling mirror and a streamer. This streamer is a long fluorescent cloth that floats on water to aid the rescue crews in locating the crewmember. In early years this contained a dye marker which coloured the water bright yellow/green. Attached to the back are a pair of EFA fasteners to attach a parachute or raft to the back of the pilot. The Belgian Navy also uses these vests on their Alouette 3 aircraft, but with a Sarbe 7 emergency beacon added. The vest is worn in combination with a HGU-56/p helmet and an orange immersion suit. It is closed on the front with quick-release fasteners.

rp-seaking30_tn.jpg (22580 bytes)rp-inflated_tn.jpg (27392 bytes)rp-M30closed_tn.jpg (28473 bytes)rp-vestblader_tn.jpg (33092 bytes)rp-spareair_tn.jpg (19852 bytes)
From left to right: Belgian Sea King pilot wearing a Remploy M30 life vest. Vest with inflated bladder, vest
ready to don, vest with open bladder, Spare Air cylinder carried in the large compartment to the left of the
bladder. The Spare-Air is comparable in function to the US-made SRU-40/P HEED.

The -30 type
The -30 type is used on the Belgian Alpha-jets. Unlike the -M30 type the collar of this vest self-inflates when it makes contact with water. There are 2 small pockets on the right side of this vest but no oxygen tank like on the M30. This vest replaced the LPU-10 life preserver and it is worn with a CSU-13/P G-suit and HGU-55/p helmet. It is closed on the front with a zipper.

rp-ajet30.jpg (85122 bytes)
Belgian Alpha-Jet pilots from 7e Smaldeel wearing the Remploy 30 life vest.

ajetfront_tn.jpg (20979 bytes)ajetback_tn.jpg (21507 bytes)
Remploy 30 waistcoat without the life saver air chamber.

I would like to express my thanks to the following people:
Survival section Koksijde AB
Remploy Ltd.
SKB trading

links:
Remploy Performance Textiles
Remploy Limited
Stonecourt
Siskin Drive
Coventry
CV4 4FJ

Telephone: +44 (0) 800 138 7656
http://www.remployfrontline.co.uk/

Belgian importer:
SKB Life Saving Equipment nv
Royerssluis kaai 48
2030 Antwerp
Belgium

Tel: (32) 3-213.86.70
Fax: (32) 3-201.89.71

Belgian Air Component:
www.mil.be/aircomp

 

 

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