Bombproof underwear designed to protect the private parts of troops, politicans or business executives has gone on sale in the UAE.
The lightweight long johns have been rolled out after surviving rigorous testing in a Dutch laboratory, where they weathered a grenade attack and gunfire.
The extra-padded accessory is being marketed to diplomatic staff and military personel on duty in conflict zones. But the pants are also aimed at high-profile business people who want to protect their vitals from would-be assassins.
Made from flexible Polyethelene material, the pants can be worn under army fatigues, a business suit or jeans.
Polyethelene, found in laundry baskets and other household goods, is made of long, thin chains of molecules and is extremely strong in its purest form.
Business was brisk in Abu Dhabi this week, where the pants were on display at IDEX, the Middle East’s largest arms fair. 
Hans-Jorg Wickert, a salesman for manufacturer Blucher, said that with hidden Improved Explosive Devices (IEDs)  a popular weapon for insurgents fighting US and NATO soldiers in Afghanistan, lightweight underwear that could withstand a bomb attack  is crucial.
IEDs were responsible for the deaths of 104 US troops in Afghanistan last year.
Wickert said: “IEDs tend to come from the ground up, so you need protection in the groin. How much would a man pay to have full use of his private parts if he is injured in an IED attack?”
Wickert said that certain cultures may be embarrassed to discuss matters regarding their lower body parts, however such taboos are broken down when they realise how crucial this piece of kit could be.
He said: “Obviously, protecting that part of the body is extremely important for them and for all men, but some don’t like to think about it. But once people see the dangers posed by explosives, they are more willing to discuss it.”
The underwear is new on the market and the company was reluctant to discuss pricing.
“It really depends on which type of underwear and the needs of the customer,” said Blucher sales manager Michael Fiedler.
The underwear is made from the ultra-strong material polyethelene, which the company says is far easier to wear than Kevlar and other bullet-proof materials.
“Anything tried before was not easy to wear and not friendly on the skin. This feels like any other type of underwear,”  said Fiedler.
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