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New body armour saves Ranger Ryan

A soldier from Bangor has 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, last month.

The fire fight lasted 25 minutes before shells were dropped on their attackers.

The 26-year-old 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 Ministry of Defence says.

Ranger Boyd said: “I feel lucky to have got out of this uninjured but I think it just shows what a fantastic piece of kit the Osprey body armour system is.”

Lieutenant Colonel David Eastman, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said the body armour was a real life saver. “Troops' equipment is |improving all the time and will continue to improve as new technology becomes available,” he continued.

“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.”

Belfast Telegraph