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Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology

The Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology or JSLIST consists of a two piece garment designed to replace the Navy's existing Chemical Protection Overgarment (CPO). The JSLIST garment offers a number of advantages over the Navy' s current CPO. The JSLIST garment features state-of-the-art chemical protective lining technology which provides increased chemical protection while allowing more mobility for the wearer, and can be laundered up to three times. The CPO suit contains a charcoal impregnated lining. During wear, this lining is leached onto the wearer causing inner garments to become coated with charcoal dust. The CPO suit would disintegrate if laundered.

In 1993 the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command, the U.S. Army Aviation and Troop Command, the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command and the U.S. Air Force Material Command signed a Memorandum of Agreement establishing the JSLIST Program. The program combined development and testing efforts resulting in the procurement of a single U.S. military CBR Garment at a significantly reduced cost.

The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center is participating in the management, design and development of the next generation chemical/biological protective clothing system. Key requirements of the JSLIST program included protection against chemical/biological agents, a lighter weight, more flexible garment, and the ability to be laundered. Key requirements of the footwear include combined environmental and CB protection, POL resistance, and self flame extinguishing characteristics. In addition, the system is required to be durable, designed to take into account the human factors of (and acceptability to) the user, and reduce the heat stress associated with protective gear.

JSLIST consolidates service programs to develop next generation chemical/biological protective clothing systems into common goal objectives: obtain the best suit possible at the least cost; minimize types of suits in service; maximize economies of scale; and conserve service resources. JSLIST created an avenue for new, potential candidate chemical protective material technologies/prototype ensembles to be evaluated for technical merit and performance. This process screened potential technologies for inclusion into future advanced development programs.


Components include an Overgarment to be worn over the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU), and the Multipurpose Rain / Snow / CB Overboot (MULO). These items allow complete MOPP and heat stress management flexibility while tailoring the protection levels relative to mission scenarios and threat. Procurement of these items began in FY97.

The JSLIST program developed and is fielding the JSLIST Overgarment and is manufacturing Multi-purpose Overboots (MULO). The JSLIST Overgarment and the Multipurpose Overboot (MULO) were adopted by all four services. These items, when combined with standard CB protective butyl gloves and masks for respiratory protection, allow complete MOPP flexibility. The Joint Firefighter Integrated Response Ensemble (J-FIRE) will also utilize the JSLIST overgarment.

The JSLIST overgarment is designed to replace the Battle Dress Overgarment, the USMC Saratoga, and the Navy Chemical Protective Overgarment. It is lighter and less bulky than the previous Battle Dress Overgarment (BDO) chemical protective garments, is durable for 45 days, can be laundered up to six times and provides 24 hours of protection against liquid and vapor chemical challenges. The overgarment consists of a coat and trousers. The trousers have bellows-type pockets, high-waist, adjustable suspenders, and adjustable waistband. The trousers also have a slide fastener front opening with protective flap and a bellows pocket with flap located on each thigh. Each leg opening has two hook and loop ankle adjustment tabs. The waist-length coat has an integral hood, a slide fastener front concealed by a flap with hook and loop closure, enclosed extendable elasticized drawcord hem with jacket retention cord, full-length sleeves with hoop and loop wrist closure adjustment tabs, and an outside bellows pocket with flap on the left sleeve. The outer shell of both pieces is a 50/50 nylon/cotton poplin ripstop with a durable water repellent finish. The liner layer consists of a nonwoven front laminated to activated carbon spheres and bonded to a tricot knit back. Garments are being procured in 4-color Woodland Camouflage or 3-color Desert Camouflage patterns.

Component Materials: The outer shell is a 50/50 nylon/cotton poplin ripstop with a durable water repellent finish. The liner layer consists of a nonwoven front laminated to activated carbon spheres and bonded to a tricot knit back.

Color: The outer layer is a 40 color Woodland Camouflage pattern or a 3-color Desert Camouflage pattern.

Weight: 2.63 kg (5.8 lbs) per overgarment (Med/Reg)

Size: Coat, 7 sizes, Small/X-Short through Large/Long; Trousers, 7 sizes, Small/X-Short through Large/Long

Basis of Issue: The overgarment will be issued to troops requiring chemical protection.

Price: Coat, Med/Reg $91.80; Trousers, Med/Reg $91.80

NSN: Coat, Med/Reg 8415-01-444-2310; Trousers, Med/Reg 8415-01-444-1238

The JSLIST suit has a five-year shelf life, with an estimated total life of 15 years. Once a production lot of suits has reached five years of age, samples from that lot are visually inspected and chemical agent tested to determine whether the shelf life of that lot should be extended an additional five years with sound confidence of quality / durability. Once the suit reaches ten years of service life it is chemical tested, inspected, and if qualified, is extended annually thereafter. Equipment Assessment Program personnel will perform the visual inspection. The chemical testing will be performed by the Battelle Memorial Institute. Inspection and testing of the JSLIST suits will begin in FY02 (first five year period) for shelf life extension. Representative samples from FY97 production lots will be inspected at that time.

JSLIST suits in packages with some loss of vacuum, but no clearly visible holes or tears, are considered fully mission-capable. If a bag is opened or accidentally torn, and has not been exposed to any petroleum, oil, or lubricant (POL) products or possible contaminants and not damaged in any way, it can be immediately re-packaged or carefully repaired with high quality adhesive tape, "duct tape", or some similar product to re-create the seal, and it will maintain its original shelf life. Repair procedures to the inner bag should not obliterate surveillance data. If a package is visibly torn or punctured with no determination as to when it was damaged or to what contaminants the suit was exposed, the suit should be used for training only. The words training only must be stenciled 2.5 inches high or larger on the outside of a sleeve or leg of the item, in a contrasting colored permanent ink.

The Multi-purpose Overboots (MULO) will replace the black vinyl overboot/ green vinyl overboot (BVO/GVO). The MULO is a 60 day boot that provides 24 hours of chemical protection. The boot has increased traction, improved durability, petroleum, oil, and lubricant (POL) and flame resistance, and better chemical protection than the BVO/GVO.

The focus of Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology Pre-Planned Product Improvement (JSLIST P3I) is to leverage Industry for mature fabric technologies for use in garments. The existing JSLIST design will be used as the baseline, with minimum modification as necessary for improvement. Mature fabric technologies and designs for gloves and socks will be sought as well to address the glove and sock requirements that were not met in JSLIST.

A market survey was conducted in FY97. Materials received from responding forms were evaluated, and material screening was scheduled to be completed in 4FQ98. Field evaluation was projected to start 1QFY99, and technology insertion in 1QFY00.

The JSLIST P3I is a follow-on to the existing JSLIST program which developed a joint service chemical protective ensemble. It will address the JSLIST objectives (i.e. desired) requirements and those that were not met. This joint program will include full participation by the US Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy.

The JSLIST Block 1 Glove Upgrade (JB1GU) Program is seeking an interim glove to replace the current butyl rubber glove. The follow on to the JB1GU will be the JB2GU program that will be produce gloves for both ground and aviation units. The Joint Protective Aircrew Ensemble (JPACE) will be developed to provide aviators with the same advantages and improved protection as JSLIST provides to other warfighters. Similarly, clothing systems for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel and firefighters are required to enhance existing chemical protection systems.

In an attempt to encourage competition and lower costs, the Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) program solicited in 4QFY00 for JSLIST overgarments in alternate materials, but having the exact same design as the original JSLIST. The purpose of the JSLIST Additional Source Qualification (JASQ) program is to qualify additional manufacturers to provide JSLIST overgarments. Manufacturers could also submit Industry Initiated Demonstration Products (IIDP) in alternate materials that might require a different design. These though will be evaluated for potential use in future garments and can not be qualified for use as a substitute JSLIST overgarment. After release of Request for Proposal in FY00, four candidate materials and two IIDP candidates were received. All have completed field-testing at 29 Palms, Cold Regions Test Center, and Tropic Test Center 4QFY01 - 2QFY02. Due to funding shortfalls, chemical agent swatch testing has been postponed until 1QFY03. Upon completion of agent testing, the candidates will be evaluated for inclusion on the Qualified Products List (QPL).

Suit shortages are projected to escalate in the next few years because the majority of suits in the current inventory will reach the end of their useful life and expire by 2007, and new Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) suits, along with other new generation protective ensemble components such as gloves and boots, are not entering the inventory as quickly as originally planned. Consequently, the old suits are expiring faster than they are being replaced.

Some ensemble components, particularly suits, may not be available in adequate numbers to meet near-term minimum requirements. As of August 30, 2002, DOD had procured about 1.5 million of the new JSLIST suits, of which the majority were issued to the military services. Others are held in Defense Logistics Agency reserves, provided to foreign governments under the Foreign Military Sales program, or allocated to domestic uses. Together with the existing inventory of earlier-generation suits, it was estimated that DOD had a total of 4.5 million suits.

In late 2002 service members issued chemical protective suits for possible action in Iraq were advised to check the package to make sure they are not among 250,000 potentially defective garments that remain unaccounted for. If the label says the suit was made by "Isratex," or if it has a lot number of either DLA100-92-C-0427 or DLA100-89-C-0429, soldiers may want to ask for a different set of protective garments.

All garments made by the now-bankrupt Isratex company have been recalled. In a recent hearing, members of the House Government Reform Committee expressed concern about the possibility that troops heading for Iraq could end up with the flawed suits. Department of Defense officials said they had no evidence the suits had been destroyed and no way to track them if they have not been destroyed. However, logistics experts believed the missing suits had long since been used for training, then discarded.

The suits are packed in sealed packages that are supposed to clearly show the lot number, manufacturer, and date of production. Officially called battle dress overgarments, the suits were made by Isratex in 1989 and 1992 in both desert and woodland camouflage patterns. The chemical protective suits passed initial quality-control screening, but in 1999 underwent rigorous testing in preparation for court action against Isratex management. At that time, inspectors found seven "critical" defects in a sample of 500 units. The defects included holes or poor stitching. Whenever a single critical defect is found in suits, the entire lot must be removed from combat inventories. The defects were found in the 1992 suits-lot number DLA100-92-C-0427. Suits made in 1989-lot number DLA100-89-C-0429-have passed all quality-control inspections, but have also been recalled because they were made by Isratex. The suits are used mainly by the Army and Air Force, which scoured their overseas inventories in 2000 after news reports about the potentially defective garments.


  • NEW PROTECTIVE SUIT HOLDS UP LONGER Marine Corps News (11 Feb 2000) -- The increased use of chemical and biological weapons has triggered the need for a more efficient protective suit for today's Marines.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:44:01 ZULU