Tue, 05 Dec 2023

US-made armor pierced by regular AK round Rostec

03 Oct 2023, 04:13 GMT+10

Video footage has raised concerns over the quality of ballistic vests donated to the Ukrainian military

A new video, released by the Russian defense conglomerate Rostec, has cast doubt over the quality of the military assistance that the US is sending to Ukraine. It shows a bulletproof vest, reportedly taken as a trophy from the battlefield, which showed an "unexpectedly" poor performance during a comparative test.

The TV-show-style footage published on Telegram on Monday was touted as a trial of three ballistic vests that a civilian could obtain with the goal of getting maximum protection while mostly retaining mobility.

The three items put through test shootings were a Chinese product, newly-developed Russian armor, and the American equipment - all more or less corresponding to a Russian Br5 class of protection.

The American vest's performance took the testers by surprise in a negative way, said journalist and defense industry expert Aleksey Yegorov, who served as the host of the shoot. Unlike the other two items, its chest plate got pierced by a 7.62x39mm shot from a Kalashnikov AK-103 from 15 meters (49 feet) away.

During a later test with a fresh plate, the American vest stopped a 7.62x51mm round. The munition fired was a .308 Winchester - the easy-to-buy hunting round with cartridge dimensions virtually identical to the NATO one. Unlike in the Russian rounds, its bullet did not have a steel core, Rostec explained.

The next two shots were 5.45x39mm rounds fired from a Kalashnikov assault rifle, and one of them pierced the vest too. The host explained that the bullet hit too close to where the .308 bullet landed, with the first impact weakening the plate.

Both the Chinese and the Russian vests performed notably better with the military-grade munitions that Ukrainian soldiers have to deal with in the fight against Russia.

Rostec said it was pretty sure that the tested armor was produced in the US, but didn't explain how it had confirmed its authenticity.


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