Means of individual armor: classification and purpose


Nowadays, anyone knows about the means of individual armor protection. Still, at least from time to time people watch militants, news and other programs that regularly show strong guys, reliably protected from bullets, splinters and strikes with knives. Of course, this includes not only body armor, but many other elements that some readers will be interested to learn about.

Foot and hand protection

It is very important to ensure in combat (especially urban, when around a lot of broken bricks, rusty sharp objects and other dangers) reliable protection for limbs. Of course, armored elements are usually not used - most often either ordinary metal inserts or high-strength plastic are used.


First and foremost, safety shoes are included. Having unsuccessfully hit a brick, it is possible to break your toes, and with a running start, stepping on a protruding nail, pierce the foot and permanently break down. Therefore, the military use berets - reliable shoes, firmly fixing the lower leg, which reduces the risk of damage to the ankle joint. The high-strength sole on good products will rather bend or break the nail than be pierced. Some boots are equipped with metal inserts on the toe - this allows you to break bricks without harm to yourself, but at the same time it can be useful in battle. The only drawback is the large weight of the shoes - getting used to them is not always easy.

Also used are special knee pads, elbow pads, and in some cases, special lock-ups that protect limbs. Knee pads, like elbow pads, allow you to fall on any surface without fear for the integrity of the joints. Imagine only: fall with a swing bare knee on a pile of broken bricks. This will lead, if not to a fracture, then at least to a painful shock.

Bulletproof shield

Also in many movies and computer games you can see a metal shield. Of course, ordinary fighters do not wear it - it is too bulky and inconvenient when moving. But the soldiers of the airborne assault brigades, for whom it is important to ensure high reliability when crossing open spaces or moving along long corridors, can save lives.


Few people know, but the first armored seats appeared at the end of the 19th century. However, insufficiently durable materials led to the fact that they did not receive wide distribution. Today everything has changed - special alloys allow you to stop almost any bullet fired even from a short distance. There are both small shields (individual), protecting only the head and chest of the fighter, and huge (group), through which you can protect the body from head to knees. Usually the first fighter in the group carrying a metal shield uses only a pistol. But the rest, being under the cover of this shield, may well work productively with shotguns and machine guns.

Proven helmet

But this attribute is the oldest used today. After all, since the days of cold arms, helmets were used, which were transformed into helmets, and there was practically no interruption in use.

In a more or less familiar form, this means of individual armor protection appeared even before World War II. The reason for this was a real breakthrough in the field of metallurgy. There were new alloys, allowing to make thin and at the same time very strong army helmets that can withstand even a shot from a rifle and a machine gun from a relatively short distance.


Today they are made not only from metal, but also from aramid materials. They can boast not only less weight, but also a reduced risk of getting a contusion when it hits the helmet. Often, a new helmet protects not only the upper part of the head, but also the face - in this case high-strength glass is used, which provides a good view.

What make body armor?

In our time for the manufacture of body armor used a variety of materials. This may be a metal alloy, special ceramic plates or high-strength fabric - the well-known Kevlar. There are also composite and combined options.


One cannot say that one of them is better than others. The bad ones are simply sorted and sent to the dustbin of history. The fact is that for high security you have to pay mobility. For example, a fighter wearing a 6B45 vest gets much more reliable protection than using body armor of class 1 protection. However, you have to pay for it - you can run with such armor, but agility is significantly reduced.

But if you take a sapper's suit, then in front of him this body armor frankly fades. Already this colossus reliably protects the limbs, body and head. Only in him it is impossible not only to run, but simply to go quickly. Of course, it would not occur to anyone to use such a colossus in battle. Even if it protects from fragments and most of the bullets, because of the awkward awkwardness, sooner or later one of tens or even hundreds of bullets will find a vulnerable spot.

Probably worth telling about the different materials that are currently used for the manufacture of personal protective equipment in more detail.


Every person interested in military affairs must have heard about aramid fiber. It is also called Kevlar (not quite exactly - about the same thing as calling all copiers xerox).

The main advantage of this body armor - weight. It is small. In addition, Kevlar protection, even having 5-7 layers, still remains very soft - it can be hidden under the jacket. It does not hold down movements at all. It is also almost impossible to cut through it - the knife simply slides off the armor when cutting.


It would seem that the ideal defense was found! Alas, this is not entirely true. After all, aramid fiber has its drawbacks.

The main one is the instability in front of moisture. Yes, yes, if the armor falls under the rain or is simply used in high humidity conditions, its strength is almost halved! Yes, after drying, it will recover. But until that time, the fighter seriously risks his health and life.

In addition, Kevlar, which is almost impossible to cut through, is pierced relatively easily. Where the usual knife does not cope, the usual awl will easily pierce the armor.

Finally, it is the softness that can lead to the death of the owner. From a bullet fired from a rifle, automatic rifle, or even an ordinary hunting rifle, armor cannot protect. The vest itself will not suffer. But the blow to the body will be of such strength that it will break the bones, damage the insides.

Therefore, Kevlar and other types of body armor have not been completely supplanted.


Ceramic plates were considered a good solution for some time. In the USSR, body armor with them were developed in the 1980s. For some time it was even planned to produce tanks with ceramic armor, so impressed with all the test results.

Relatively lightweight, body armor perfectly extinguished the blow, protecting the person from concussion, than the metal counterparts could not boast. That's just a minus was discovered pretty quickly. After the first hit, the plates were damaged - this ensured the absorption of a bullet pulse and reliable protection of the carrier of the vest. For the first time it was enough. But when she re-entered the same plate, she simply crumbled, leaving the fighter practically defenseless.

So this development was effective, but disposable. Coming out of a serious battle, the military assault brigade would have to almost completely change the filler, and even the outfit itself, which is simply unacceptable.


Finally, the most common and time-tested body armor - metal. As the main protection, both titanium plates and many others are used - alloys having high strength, today there are quite a lot.

Alas, in most cases, the weight of the body armor, providing a high level of protection, is quite large. So, the effectiveness of a fighter is sharply reduced.


In addition, the question arises about the size of the plate. If it is too small, it will not be able to effectively distribute the momentum of the bullet through the body when hit. But the metal simply cannot quench the impulse. If the plate is large, the distribution will be much more efficient. But the mobility and, therefore, the mobility of a soldier are sharply reduced.


Therefore, today very often used combined means of individual armor. In their manufacture is used as Kevlar, and metal or ceramic inserts. For example, steel bibs in this case complement the aramid base. Steel reliably protects from a bullet and stabbing blows, and Kevlar softens the blow, allowing you to avoid contusions.

Of course, they are more complicated and more expensive to build, and in most cases the weight is more than that of conventional body armor. On the other hand, they provide a high level of protection, and the weight is still much easier than the sapper's suit.

Pros and cons of body armor

Someone might be surprised by this question. After all, it is clear that body armor regularly save the lives of law enforcement officers and the military. However, not all so simple.

With the plus just everything is clear - reliable armor will protect you from a knife, shard, bullet or the usual strike with a butt in the stomach. More and is not required.

With one drawback, everything is also clear - reduced mobility with more or less reliable body armor.

But there is another flaw, not so obvious. The point is in the contusion. In some cases, bullets passing tangentially could inflict a comparatively minor injury - scratching the skin or even tearing a piece of muscle, but such a wound is easily treated even in field conditions. And in the presence of a bullet-proof vest, the plates of which take the blow, the bullet inflicts a terrible blow on the internal organs, beating the liver, tearing the kidneys. As a result, even emergency hospitalization does not always save.

However, usually such situations are private and cannot compete with cases where body armor saves life.

Classes of body armor

According to the degree of protection all body armor are divided into classes. They often differ in the materials used in the manufacture. It is clear that the lower the class of protection, the less armor binds the body.

The first class provides protection against weak pistol cartridges (5-6 mm), as well as some types of edged weapons. It is usually made from several layers of aramid fiber.


The second class has already 7-10 layers of fabric, stops the bullets from the PM and the revolver, as well as a shot from a hunting rifle. Like the first, it is easily hidden under a jacket or jacket.

The third class combines 20-25 layers of Kevlar and rigid armored rifles. To hide such a vest under clothes is no longer possible, but he stops any bullets from pistols and even from a smooth-bore weapon.

The fourth class is similar to the third, only more inserts, and their thickness is increased. Can stop bullets 5.45 and 7.62 mm, not having a hard core.

The fifth grade is made mainly of solid inserts. Reliably protects almost all non-armored bullets, even fired at short distances. This includes the bulletproof vest 6B45.

The sixth grade is the hardest and most reliable. Stops nebronoeboynye bullets fired from sniper rifles and machine guns (of course, if the shooting is not at close range).

What is the weight of the body armor?

Definitely say how much body armor weighs, it is impossible. After all, a lot of them, and the mass, as mentioned above, is very different. You can only give approximate data - depending on the class of protection:

  1. First class - 1.5-2.5 kg.
  2. Second class - 3-5 kg.
  3. The third class is 6-9 kg.
  4. Fourth grade - 8-10 kg.
  5. Fifth grade - 11-20 kg.
  6. Sixth grade - more than 15 kg.

As you can see, the variation in weight is very large, as is the level of protection.


This is where our article ends. Now you know how much the body armor weighs, what materials are used in its manufacture, and also learned something about other elements of protection of the modern soldier. We hope this will seriously expand your horizons.

Interesting Articles

Operasi Repo - apa itu? Operasi REPO dan pinjaman sekuriti

Umur adalah apa? Definisi

Vladimir Turov: kajian seminar positif dan negatif

Kostum kebangsaan rakyat Rusia dan ciri-ciri mereka