General Service Respirator Accepted Into Service

THE General Service Respirator (GSR), developed to provide the UK Armed Forces with improved respiratory and ocular protection against CBRN threats, has been accepted into service.

Achievement of In-Service Date (ISD) was declared by Air Cdre David Stubbs, Head of Capability for Special Projects & CBRN (HoC SP&CBRN), on the 26 Aug 10.  Capability Branch (SP & CBRN) announced: “The entry into service of the General Service Respirator provides UK forces with a cutting edge CBRN capability which has been designed to provide significantly enhanced levels of protection in very demanding and challenging conditions.”

The new respirator, produced by Scott Health and Safety Ltd, provides significantly higher levels of protection whilst new features, such as twin canisters, a single visor, and an improved drinking system, helps to significantly reduce the physiological and psychological burden experienced by users.

A result of extensive collaboration between Dstl, Scott H&S, and the MoD, the achievement was described by the CBRN DT Team Leader, Phil Strudley, as a momentous occasion: “Whilst seemingly a straightforward and relatively cheap rubber respirator, the GSR is technically complex as a system and a significant advance over the S10 it replaces.  From its inception at Dstl Porton Down during the research phase through to the assessment with Industry, a number of design concepts have been developed to improve the psychological and physiological burden of wearing a respirator for extended periods of time.  The high levels of performance have been the major objective for the three services throughout the project.  To demonstrate every aspect of the requirement, a huge range of performance tests and user trials have been carried out, fully supported by a number of trials units.  Although there have been problems leading up to full manufacture this year, the contractor - Scott Health and Safety - has worked closely with the CBRN Delivery Team, Dstl Porton Down, the Capability Sponsor and Front-Line Commands to develop this significant enhancement to the force protection capability.  It is very satisfying for everyone within the GSR team to have reached this stage in a very important project that provides life-saving operational capability.”

Instructor training is currently underway with the first users set to receive GSR in the new-year.  Fielding is planned to take place over the next 4 years with all UK Armed Forces converted to GSR by the end of 2014.

Image, “©Crown Copyright/MOD.  Reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationary Office”


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