London: British troops would be donning new bullet-proof jackets made from a secret liquid substance that experts say can absorb the force of a shrapnel by thickening and hardening instantly on impact.
Defence chiefs believe that the revolutionary new form of body armour nicknamed "bullet-proof custard" will offer greater protection for soldiers on the battlefield.
The hi-tech "liquid armour", which was showcased at a defence conference in London, is said to be lighter, more flexible and easy to wear for soldiers, Daily Mail reported.
The pioneering technology has been created by a team of scientists at the global defence and security company BAE systems in Filton, Bristol.
According to the report, researchers have inserted the futuristic formula, called a 'shear thickening fluid', between sheets of traditional Kevlar to produce the "super armour".
The liquid has been compared to custard because the molecules lock together and "thicken" in the same way as the dessert sauce reacts to being stirred when heated.
Experts say this will create armour that is about half as heavy as standard bullet-proof vests which allows greater manoeuvrability for troops, said the report.
British soldiers currently struggle with bulky body armour made up of ceramic plates and layered Kevlar, which is five times stronger than steel but can restrict movement. It is also uncomfortable in hot war zones like Afghanistan, where temperatures soar in the summer to 50 degrees Celsius.
BAE researchers tested the material by firing bullets from a 9mm handgun into 31 layers of untreated Kevlar and 10 layers of Kevlar combined with the 'custard'.
When the liquid armour was struck by the projectile, the impact was dispersed over a wider area. This reduces the chances of soldiers being injured or killed by the force of a bullet because it is not concentrated on one small area.
The company believes soldiers could be using the new protective vests in two years.
Nick Haigh, a spokesman for BAE Systems, said: "There is a fair amount of interest from the Ministry of Defence and we hop that it ends up being worn by frontline troops.
"Traditional Kevlar protective vests is very effective but it is massively heavy and bulky. If we are able to reduce the weight burden for soldiers they will be able to do their jobs more effectively."
In addition to increasing the ballistic performance of combat body armour there is potential for developing a version that could be used by police forces and ambulance crews.
Defence Equipment Minister Peter Luff said: "While future weapons and ingenious gadgets are the stock-in-trade of any James Bond film, and are all very exciting, we must ensure that ingenuity translates into combat edge in the field.
"That's exactly what I have just seen and I am extremely impressed by it."