Coventry & Warwickshire

Soldiers visit Coventry body armour factory

A group of soldiers have visited a factory that manufactures the body armour which has saved their lives.

NP Aerospace, in Foleshill, Coventry, makes the armour which looks similar to a bullet proof vest.

Lance Bombardier Nigel Greening, who came under fire in Afghanistan, was among the 15 soldiers who visited the factory.

Lance Bombardier Greening, of the 19 Regiment, Royal Artillery, said the vest meant the bullet only winded him.

He was on a routine patrol when his group were attacked. He said he ran for cover and realised that something had struck him on the back.

He said: "It was a strange experience. It felt like a punch mixed with a slap and I fell to the floor, felt a bit winded, but got back up.

"When we got back to our base, I took my equipment off and it was a mixture of tears and laughter because something big has happened, but my body armour had saved my life.

"The what if's went through my head, but I stopped myself and said that they didn't happen, so picked myself up and carried on. Nothing else happened, it was stopped, so I carried on with my day."

Damaged armour

The NP Aerospace factory also makes helmets for the Army.

Roger Medwell, managing director, said: "They're moving stories, particularly from those who have got kids.

"One person, while addressing our manufacturing team, was really solid all the way, but broke down and a lot of the Sikh women, in their long dresses, were all round cuddling him.

"It is moving when you realise you've saved someone's life and he's going to carry on and see his kids."

The visit was organised by BBC Coventry & Warwickshire, which is broadcasting a special series of interviews and reports from the Foleshill Road area.