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Small Arms Bullets in Body Armour Testing

By Igors Šitvjenkins, Ausma Viļumsone and Hanna Torbicka


Each time choosing material for the needs of Armed forces the choice of concrete technical parameters has to be made. Undoubtedly, with reference to Armed forces definition of technical parameters is connected with the analysis of operatively tactical requirements, for what operative purposes material is used for. Creating or choosing system of protection the analysis of operative tactical requirements is reduced to definition the level of threats against which protection system will protect a life and health of the soldier. It is vital important to identify possible real levels of threats, against which system has to protect life and health of the soldier. Otherwise there will be uncovered threats levels and system will not work efficiently. According to International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) there are 640 million small arms in the world or one for every ten people on earth. Small arms are responsible for 60-90% of the direct conflict deaths that occur each year. Ten to fourteen billions of ammunition is manufactured every year, which is enough to kill every person in the world. For military personnel small arms made threat are the bullets of the hostile fire or friendly force. Widely applied individual system protecting from bullets is the bullet-proof vest. Many countries has developed standards defining level of the protection for the bullet-proof vest, but only for level definition are sewn up by means of shooting of a ballistic material by certain kinds of bullets from cartridges of small arms or certain kinds of objects simulating bullets. There are also limitations on blunt trauma, defined by the depth or by actual damage of the body. Bullet-proof vests depending on the level of protection against the threats in accordance with applied bullet or imitator of the bullet. Some standards define level of penetrating velocity of the certain type of bullet or fragments under defined probability of penetration. The authors of this publication have conducted theoretical research and have compared classes on protection level in widely applied standards with wide applied small arms ammunition in the countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and also outside. Theoretical research has specified discrepancy between used bullets in standards on defining highest classes of protection and bullets with high relative energy applied in small arms ammunition in the countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and outside. The specified discrepancy is as a matter of fact discrepancy between the highest threats modulated in standards and highest probable threats in a real situation that in turn influences requirements on the level of protection and the subsequent changes in the design of a system of protection. The generalized information and references allow officials to use it with a view of set up requirements and testing methodologies in technical specifications in accordance with official’s country operational tactical requirements for the Armed Forces

Topics: armour, bullets, penetration, ballistics testing, threats, weapons, ammunition, protection level, blunt trauma
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