Pelvic protection for troops in Afghanistan has been introduced to help mitigate the effects of IED blasts, the U.K. MOD has announced on December 17. The three-tiered system of clothing and armour consists of special protective underwear, and detachable armoured modular trousers. It has been designed to integrate with current kit being used by troops on operations. Using cutting-edge science and technology developed by the MOD and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the underwear is manufactured from scientifically-tested ballistic silk material that provides an initial level of protection to mitigate against the effects of blasts, including shrapnel. The MOD has spent £10M on the new armour system to date. It balances protection with the necessary comfort and manoeuvrability for troops to undertake operations, enabling them to wear one or more of the protective layers depending on the task. They are already being worn by troops on operations, with 45,000 pairs delivered to Afghanistan and another 15,000 ready to be issued to deploying troops. A further 60,000 are to be manufactured and delivered to troops early next year.