Sandwich-Like Body Armor Vest

By Roman Ilyushchenko, Col. Ret.

Production of personnel armored protection equipment and military body armor vests is the field where we are falling behind the leaders. Nonetheless, the scientific and technological progress and “His Majesty” market warmed by sanctions are pushing forward. Which new products related to body armor are put into service for special and security forces? Below you may read the article covering the newest 7 B VV body armor vest that was approved for use by the Interior Ministry troops and the National Guard of Russia last year.

 

Our correspondent has interviewed a customer’s representative and an officer serving in one of Russian Army special force units, which operates this equipment.

 

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander B. (Russia’s Interior Ministry Troops Engineering Services Center):

– I want to lay emphasis on the fact that the 7 B VV body armor vest is made of domestic components only. The product has been co-developed by six companies with direct participation of our Center. Each co-developer has represented their own prototype to meet the customer’s requirements. At the R&D phase, developers have thoroughly studied and analyzed all available best body armor solutions produced in Russia and abroad. Initially, we have planned to develop a multi-purpose body armor vest for various military applications: for special forces and reconnaissance units involved in protection of crucially important state-owned facilities as well as for police forces and combat engineer units. As a result, we have managed to develop the prototype that meets all the applicable requirements. This body armor vest has passed three-month tests and is approved for use.

The 7 B VV model is a body armor vest that features a “sandwich-like” structure, because three types of a specially processed fabric are used for its production to form a multi-layer structure. Unlike the early versions put into service, this model of body armor features a modular configuration, i.e. it can be easily removed. This proves the versatility of the product. The body armor vest consists of an external cover with the protective composite structure made of aramid-based ballistic fabric, and also an armor plate and auxiliary protection components such as a groin apron, side protective sections, a detachable collar, shoulder pads, and thigh pads.

The body armor also integrates new HMPE lightweight armor plates based on high modulus polyethylene and ceramic components. The weight depends on protection class and ranges from 7 kg (class III) to 15 kg (class VI). The class VI model equipped with auxiliary armor plates may stop a SVD rifle bullet. Such protection makes the body armor vest actually impenetrable for all the main types of firearms. This vest may be used as concealed body armor. Re-equipping will not take much time: you will have to remove auxiliary protective section, aprons, and plates to transform your vest into class I body armor able to stop a 9 mm bullet or a knife due to integrated aramid-based fabric.

Another feature of this model is a detachable belt that allows to rapidly regulate protection modules to fit the carrier shape and body build, including winter and summer versions. The body armor vest structure also features the self-release system. In case of wound or incapacitation that do not allow the carrier to move individually, the injured person may easily remove modules hindering his movements by pulling out a special locking pin, and the armor vest will fall in pieces. Moreover, the vest structure is fitted with a safety eyelet to connect a rope of up to 6 m in length in order to remotely evacuate a disabled service member to a shelter located at a safe distance thus avoiding additional casualties.

This model also includes the so-called MOLLE system (Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment) that allows, depending on a mission, to configure and fasten the equipment to the body armor vest at the carrier’s discretion in any place or sequence without an ammunition vest, using straps fastened to the cover and belt tape laces.

 

7 B VV Body Armor Vest Performance:

Protection Class Br3

Body armor vest (basic version) includes: front and rear sections and a collar interconnected via the detachable regulating system.

Front and rear sections consist of external covers with the internal protective structure (to protect the carrier’s back, chest, and sides), plus a ventilation-shock absorber system located on the internal surface of the cover protecting the front and rear sections. This system is intended to reduce possible shell shock effect and to form passages for natural ventilation of the under-vest space.

Ensures protection structure class Br3, fitted with class Br3 chest and back section armor plates, protection class Br2 side armor plates made of high modulus polyethylene (HMPE).

  • Weight, kg                                                  7.1
  • Protection area, class Br1, dm2             48
  • Protection area, class Br2, dm2                       6
  • Protection area, class Br3, dm2            15

 

Protection Class Br4

Enhanced body armor vest includes: front and rear sections and collar interconnected via the detachable regulating system, and an apron.

Front and rear sections consist of external covers with the internal protective structure (to protect the carrier’s back, chest and sides), plus a ventilation-shock absorber system located on the internal surface of the cover protecting the front and rear sections. This system is intended to reduce possible shell shock effect and to form passages for natural ventilation of the under-vest space. The equipment set also includes an underbelly and groin protection apron, protection class Br1.

Ensures protection structure class Br4, fitted with class Br4 chest and back section armor plates, protection class Br3 side armor plates made of composite ceramic materials.

  • Weight, kg                                                                      10
  • Fragmentation protection area, dm2                        55
  • Protection area, class Br1, dm2                                  44
  • Protection area, class Br2, dm2                                   6
  • Protection area, class Br4, dm2                                  15

 

Protection Class Br5

Body armor vest set includes: front and rear sections and collar interconnected via the detachable regulating system, underbelly and groin protection apron, underbelly and groin protection armor plate, and shoulder and thigh protection pads.

Front and rear sections consist of external covers with the internal protective structure (to protect the carrier’s back, chest and sides), plus a ventilation-shock absorber system located on the internal surface of the cover protecting the front and rear sections. This system is intended to reduce the shell shock effect and to form passages for natural ventilation of the under-vest space.

Fitted with chest, back, side and apron armor plates that ensure class Br5 protective structure. Made of composite ceramic materials.

  • Weight, kg                                                                        15
  • Protection area, special class, dm2                            64
  • Fragmentation protection area, dm2                        101
  • Protection area, class Br1, dm2                                   90
  • Protection area, class Br5, dm2                                   25