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Flygstridsdräkt 90, the Swedish Tactical Flight Combat Suit 
by: Ron Kraan

It should be noted that the Swedish suit -- in 1990 designated VGI/4, for "Ventilerad G-dräkt och Isolerdräkt" = Ventilated G-suit and Immersion suit -- isn't just a G-suit, but rather a "tactical flight combat suit", as it fulfills other requirements too. 

The Swedish Tactical Flight Combat Suit has been developed by FMV (The Swedish Defence Material Administration) and is mainly made by Swedish companies. 
The requirements for the TFCS are: 
· 9 G sustained with high onset rate, at least 30 s after 6 G/s and at least 7 G after a gradual (0.1 G/s) onset without anti-G straining manoeuvre 
· Biological and chemical warfare protection 
· High altitude protection, including explosive decompression 
· Arctic climate and cold water survival 
· High temperatures (fire) protection both in cockpit and on the ground 
· Air blast protection for ejection speeds up to 600 kt 
· Thermal protection 

Development started in 1985, with the main goal being improved G protection. Two versions were developed, with one selected for production in 1997. The choosen version gives the pilot the option of choosing either a ventilated immersion suit, for use when the water temperature is colder than 12 degC, or a flight suit with the Full Coverage Anti-G Suit being a separate garment. (The version not selected consisted of an air ventilated immersion suit with integrated FCAGC.) 

Its main parts are: 
· Underwear both for hot and arctic climates 
· Boots with connectors for the leg restraints 
· Immersion suit, made of Ventile L28/L32 (tightly woven cotton) 
· Flight suit, made of Nomex Delta C 220g/m2 
· Full coverage anti-G suit, made of Nomex Delta T/A 200g/m2 
· Flight jacket with chest bladder, automatically in water deploying life preserver, emergency beacon and connectors for the arm restraint system, made of Nomex Delta T/A 200g/m2 
· Helmet with oxygen mask with pressure breathing for G-protection 
· Biological and chemical protection system 

The flight jacket is designed by Saab, and is made together with the FCAGS, the flight suit and immersion suit by AB GERMA. 

Helmet FFV type 116 
The helmet which is made of kevlar weighs less than 1.3 kg, slightly depending on size, compared with 3 kg for the previous generation. It has a tensioning bladder, dual polycarbonate visors (one tinted). The flight helmet, FFV 116, is designed and made by FFV Aerotech. Fitting the helmet individually for a pilot usually takes between 30 min and 2 hours. Included in the fitting is the shaping of the two visors, one clear and one tinted, to fit snugly over the mask. The black cloth visor protector is usually left on the helmet when flying, on the back of the head. Like previous Swedish helmets it lacks the chin strap. 

An high altitude/low profile pressure breathing oxygen mask is used. This is the Swedish version of the Gentex HA/LP mask, with anti-suffocation valve and dual microphones. 

Flight jacket
The flight jacket is integrated with the life preserver and has connectors for the the arm restraining system, as well as pockets for an emergeny beacon and other survival equipment. 

This photo shows a detail of the arm restraining device. The metal fastener, which is connected to a strap on the ejection seat, is normally at the height of the elbow, kept there by a velcro tab. On ejection, it's pulled free and down towards the wrist, sliding down under a strap also fastened along its length by velcro to the sleeve. 

Full Coverage Anti-G Suit
The trouser and jacket are both worn over a regular looking flight suit which has no pockets. 
On the rear side, the white lacing used to tighten the trousers to fit the pilot. It is covered by a zipper. Above that, on the thigh, is a zipper to be unzipped on the ground, to make them more comfortable to walk in. On the inside of the legs are the snap fasteners and heavy duty zipper to put them on or take the trousers off. 

Previous types of G suits had up to 9 air bladders. This type consists of a single large bladder, making them more comfortable. 

The boots have one set of lacing to fit them to a pilot, and one on the lower part, the upper is normally closed by a zipper. The boots are high and have a cloth pocket on the outside. 

Biological and chemical protection
As of 1998 testing of the system is still in progress. FFV Aerotech is developing the system. 
Requirements for the system: 
· not affect the general flight safety and survival requirements 
· not restrict the aircraft operational limits 
· be acceptable to the pilots as regards donning, doffing, heat stress and comfort 
· have a rip off visor to be used in case of emergency 
· have drinking facility 
· be spectacle compatible 

It consists of a chloroprene front piece with a polycarbonate visor and Gentex HA/LP-PPB mask connected to a C-protection textile collar. The front piece and collar are attached to the outside of the helmet. The visor is continuously demisted by filtered air from with breathing oxygen as a backup, from two nozzles. 

Images are taken from the SAAB website. Text and photo’s from Urban Frederiksson’s website


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