A British soldier escaped death when he was hit by a Taliban bullet in Afghanistan because he was wearing the British forces' latest Osprey body armour, the Ministry of Defence has said.
Ranger Ryan Boyd, of 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, was knocked off his feet but not seriously injured when his unit came under attack while patrolling the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province earlier this month.
The 26-year-old, from Bangor in Northern Ireland, survived being hit by a bullet because a side plate fitted to his armour, known as Osprey body armour, absorbed the force of the shot, the MoD said.
"Troops' equipment is improving all the time and will continue to improve as new technology becomes available," Lieutenant Colonel David Eastman, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said.
"The latest improvements to Osprey body armour make a real difference to soldiers' personal protection and this incident demonstrates what a lifesaver it can be."