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Rhodesian Recon Vest "RRV" History Brake Down.

Started by Ben@HI , Sep 13 2017 08:18 PM

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#1 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:18 PM

figured I would put this out for reference, I have not been able to find a true time line and variation list so this is just what I have been able to piece together. also I am sorry in advance but I didn't remove the pouches from the vests for the pictures. I thought about it but getting everything off and back on would take a lot longer then I really have time for. 

 

the predecessor of the issue RRV was very similar to a true Rhodesian recon vest, a somewhat large chest rig with several sewn on pouches. not a whole lot to it and from what I understand eagle started making them in the 1990's. the first DOD contract vest came with the DG-MLCS kit issued at first to DEVGRU (U.S. Navy Special Warfare Development Group) in 2002 to replace the ELCS kits used before its development and later trickled down to other NSW teams. the RRV in this kit had a top flap which acted as a closer when being used with the bib tucked and a 1" waist strap that only released on one side. the first of these were in an almost orange color with black buckles, white Velcro and black elastic. the later version was in what's called by many pinky tan, a light tan color 1000D cordura with almost white webbing and purple binding tape. by the end of 2002 they stated using tan webbing and Velcro and sometimes using a gray binding tap.

 

the pictured RRV is mid to late 2002 production and was camo painted woodland early in its life.

 

  

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#2 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:32 PM

the following year (2003) the black buckle MLCS kit came out and the first of what most would recognize as a RRV came with it, the flap had been eliminated and a MBSS style waist strap with double release was introduced allowing a back panel (back section of a Allied MBSS vest or eagle PC or even a spine MAP pack) to be directly installed on the vest. large Velcro section added to the inside of the main compartment and a plate strap added the help secure a SAPI plate. in late 2003 early 2004 the buckles changed from black to tan. the MLCS version was made from 2003 to around late 2005 as near as I can tell and although it was also originally intended for NSW it ended up being used by virtually all SOF to some extent at one time or another.

 

 

black buckle MLCS RRV from 2003.

 

 

 

    

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#3 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:35 PM

later tan buckle MLCS RRV

 

 

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#4 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:49 PM

2004 was a big year for the RRV, a ranger specific version was introduced in the RCLS kit, a AFSOC version came in the STS kit and a version was issued to marine force recon in the FSBE kit. the marine and ranger issue version were identical to the MLCS version except color. ranger green for the RLCS kit and Coyote for the FSBE kit. the STS kit was the only odd ball one, MJK (khaki) in color like the MLCS version but without plate strap and with snaps in the main closer as well as wings coming off the shoulder straps and a slightly larger bib with no binding tape. it also had plastic D rings to support the bib instead of steel.

 

2004 black buckle STS RRV

 

 

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#5 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:51 PM

late 2004 STS RRV with tan buckles.

 

 

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#6 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:52 PM

2004 RLCS RRV

 

 

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#7 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:55 PM

FSBE RRV late 2005, admin pouch and MBITR pouch are not eagle.

 

 

 

 

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#8 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:04 PM

in late 2005 early 2006 the SFLCS kit was introduced and saw use with AFSOC (replacing the STS kit which was very short lived) as well as delta, SF, and NSW and was sometimes seen being used by Marines. the RLCS and FSBE were still in production as well. the SFLCS RRV was identical to tan buckle MLCS RRV's with the exception of now having a tag. unfortunately I do not have a SFLCS RRV right now so no picture. I am not sure when the SFLCS went out of production however I believe it was between the end of 2008 and mid 2009. 



#9 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:13 PM

late 2006 early 2007 saw the introduction of digital camouflage RRV's, the DIG2 kit issued to NSW which I think was called the DGLCS kit came with a light weight (500D cordura) DIG2 (early AOR1) RRV which was rather widely issued inside NSW but not often used as the MPCR (eagles version of the LBT-1961A) was better received. UCP (ACU) versions of the RRV came out which saw limited use from my understanding with army SF and aviation and AFSOC. most were commercial and lacked a plate pocket in the rear.

 

DIG2 RRV from 2007.

 

 

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#10 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:17 PM

UCP (ACU) RRV from 2007, this one was likely used by an airsofter however all the pouches are issue although not all eagle and this is the version with plate pocket that was issued.

 

 

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#11 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:28 PM

in response to issues with melted equipment the FR (fire retardant) visions of the RRV were introduced. I am not sure of all the versions that were FR but I do know that a regular and lightweight version of the UCP (ACU) RRV's were made as well as a regular and lightweight multicam version. usually issued to aviation and AFSOC personnel. unfortunately I don't have any FR RRV's so no pictures but the way to spot them other then the tags is a white coating on the backside of the cordura.  



#12 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:35 PM

around late 2008-mide 2009 the lightweight version of the SFLCS kit came out, often simplify referred to as the V.2 kit and with it a lightweight RRV. it was very similar to the DIG2 RRV but in khaki. not long after a multicam version came out.

 

2010 production V.2 RRV in khaki, the MBITR pouch is not eagle.

 

 

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#13 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:37 PM

2013 V.2 RRV multicam RRV.

 

 

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#14 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:49 PM

a number of other companies jumped on the RRV band wagon making their own version. although some unit supply bought ones from companies like Blackhawk they were not DOD contract and most were not berry compliant. as far as I know the only company to make RRV's and get a contract other then eagle was London bridge which got the contract for a time because eagle was unable to keep up with demand for a while. they seem to have made them in coyote tan, coyote and OD Green.

 

this is a 2009 OD green one

 

 

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#15 Ben@HI

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:57 PM

all and all the RRV had a good run but unfortunately its dying a slow death. more and more operators are going to lighter more flexible rigs and although they are still in production and still being issued they are not as prevalent as they once were. I suspect they will be around for years to come but more likely with conventional forces and LEO then in the SOF community.   



#16 63 RECON

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:19 AM

good rigs and good reference, the company i work for made a modified version for AUSSOF, they where very popular in the early days and later into Afghan with our SF. 

 

Here is a pic of Ben Roberts Smith VC from SASR wearing an eagle one i assume.

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Edited by 63 RECON, 14 September 2017 - 01:20 AM.


#17 Ben@HI

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:24 PM

Thanks and good picture, looks like a MLCS or SFLCS one. I had heard SASR used a number of eagle items (pouches and the DPC carrier) but I didn't know they used the RRV as well.


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