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Two Canadian soldiers wearing NBC suits

An NBC suit (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) is a type of military personal protective equipment designed to provide protection against direct contact with and contamination by radioactive, biological or chemical substances, and may provide protection against radiation, depending on the design. It is generally designed to be worn for extended periods to allow the wearer to fight (or generally function) while under threat of or under actual nuclear, biological, or chemical attack. A civilian kind is the Hazmat suit. The term NBC has been replaced by CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear), with the addition of a new threat, Radiologial, meaning Radiological weapon, for example, a Dirty Bomb, which is a dissemination device, which uses an explosion to disperse Radioactive material, the radioactive material does not increase the power of the bomb, however in a Nuclear weapon it does.


In reality

NBC stands for nuclear, biological, chemical. It is a term used in the armed forces and in health and safety, mostly in the context of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) clean-up in overseas conflict or protection of emergency services during the response to a terrorist attack, though there are civilian and common-use applications (such as recovery and clean up efforts after industrial accidents).

In military operations, NBC suits are intended to be quickly donned over a soldier’s uniform and can continuously protect the user for up to several days. Most are made of impermeable material such as rubber, but some incorporate a filter, allowing air, sweat and condensation to slowly pass through. An example of this is the Canadian military NBC suit.

The older Soviet suit was impermeable rubber-coated canvas. Now known as the CBRN suit, The British Armed Forces suit is reinforced nylon with charcoal impregnated felt. It is more comfortable because of the breathability but has a shorter useful life, and must be replaced often. The British Armed Forces suit is known as a "Noddy suit" because some of them had a pointed hood like the hat worn by the fictional character Noddy. The Soviet style suit will protect the wearer at higher concentrations than the British suit but is less comfortable due to the build-up of moisture within it. A Soviet suit was known as a Womble because of its long faced respirator with round visor glasses. In Canadian terminology, an NBC suit or any kind of similar protective over-suit is also known as a Bunnysuit.

In fiction

Chemsuit redirects here. For uses of the word "chemsuit" for real protective suits, see Personal protective equipment#Complete suits.

Rogue Trooper

For the NBC suits (called 'chemsuits') much used in the Rogue Trooper stories, see:

In video games

A contemporary fictional example is shown by the Hazardous Environment Suit as worn by Gordon Freeman in the Half-Life series of video games. In this context, Freeman's HEV suit is used as an explanation for his resistance to environmental hazards and physical damage, the suit also having some of the properties of power armor. The protagonist of Half-Life: Opposing Force, USMC Corporal Adrian Shephard, wears a military version of the HEV suit called the Powered Combat Vest (PCV).

In the Halo trilogy, elite members of the UNSC Naval Special Warfare Command known as SPARTANs are equipped with MJOLNIR, a fictional powered exoskeleton. The secondary role of this armour as a self-contained NBC suit comes to the fore when the player enters a containment complex overrun with infectious xenoforms. The player is also able to use weapons that would otherwise have an irradiating effect on the bearer.

In the game Fallout 3, radiation suits are commonly used due to the radiation in the game.

In Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, a character may be outfitted with different levels of exposure protection, including half-face respirators and other face masks. During the level in the sports stadium, the player and teammates are depicted wearing either a Level B or C suits. (It is unknown whether there is a SCBA unit.)

Aya Brea, the protagonist of Parasite Eve 2, has the option to purchase an NBC suit as equipped armour, though it does not show during gameplay.

In Area 51, you and your team are in Hazmat suits.

In StarCraft, the Terran's powered combat armor is fully NBC.

In the game STALKER, many of the NPC's are seen wearing protective Environmental and Exoskeleton suits.

Additional Information

British NBC suit NATO Stock Nr. NBC/8415-98-130-6940 In the videogame "Hitman 2" a NBC suite is worn in a nuclear sub to retrieve an item.

See also

Image gallery

Suit Protective, NBC No.1 MKIV, DPM

External links



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