The Light filter KB-2B Combination Filter is the standard-issue gas mask filter cartridge used by the Russian Federation Armed Forces. It protects against nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological threats and is compatible with the PMK-2 and PMK-3 respirators.
Acquisition and CharacteristicsEdit
The Light filter KB-2B Filter comes standard with PMK-3 gas masks. 1 gas mask set will include 1 filter in oil-impregnated wrapping paper. Unlike most filters that come in air-tight packaging, the Light filter KB-2B simply comes in a brown wrapper with a rubber intake plug and a plastic cap covering a rubber plug which includes what appears to be an air-deflecting opening of some kind. This cap and plugs are removed before mounting the filter on the gas mask. The purpose of this cap and why it features this opening is not known to the author.
The Light filter KB-2B is arguably one of the newest filters in use by the Russian Federation Armed Forces to date as it is lighter and more compact than the older filters used by the PMK-1 and older gas masks. This filter appears to contain a particulate and activated carbon filter elements which will cover most if not all known CBRN threats. It is unlikely that this filter contains any harmful chemicals (such as chromium) but there are no published lab tests to confirm this. The filter is unique in that it has its own rubber valve disk on the side which interfaces with the gas mask. The PMK-3 Gas Mask due to its design, does not have an intake valve; only a filter port opening where the Light filter KB-2B or the PMK-1 filter adapter plug, or blanking plug will mount.
[It is currently unknown how long the filter will last against varying concentrations of differing contaminants. Readers are encouraged to add more information or datasheets to this.]
Use and CompatibilityEdit
It should be noted that this filter is NOT compatible with most other gas masks as it features a proprietary interface which is different from the standard NATO and GOST 40mm threaded connectors. The mount of the Light filter KB-2B filter features a metal lip which is forcefully inserted to the rubber ports of the PMK-2 and PMK-3 gas mask. The filter is very difficult to mount and it is unlikely that this can be done with the gas mask donned. The soldier will have to remove the mask and mount the filter. It is unknown why the Russians resorted to a filter connector system of this particular design. The PMK-5, the latest gas mask being tested by the Russian Military appear to use a new filter connector system. Whether or not it will be backwards compatible with PMK-3 filters is currently unknown.