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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

STANAG 2920 Protection Levels

Military standards for ballistic protection & armour

Solutions for military applications are tested according to relevant NATO standards, normally STANAG 2920 (STANAG= NATO Standardization Agreement).

STANAG 2920 The adoption of standards for ballistic protection levels and testing

STANAG 2920 ("Ballistic test method for personal EOD body armour materials and combat clothing") is used to measure materials ability to stop fragments and shrapnel. The measuring technique was originally developed for body armour but now see general use in all situations where fragments are the primary concern. For instance, STANAG 2920 is used to measure Add-on-Armour systems for armoured vehicles.

Tests according to STANAG 2920 are conducted by shooting "FSPs" (Fragment Simulating Projectiles) onto the test specimen with different velocities while measuring the velocity of each FSP. By altering the velocities, after a number of shots an estimate of the "ballistic limit" can be obtained, which is the speed up to which the material defeats the fragment.

Combat troops rarely suffer injury or fatality from bullets but are at high risk from primary (direct) and secondary (environmental) fragmentation. To combat these threats Intelligent Armour Limited utilises a special range of Fragmentation 'F' levels whose performance is measured by a V50 value.

The V50 test is the internationally recognised standard for assessing the fragmentation resistance of personal protection. The fragmentation test is conducted using Fragment Simulating Projectiles (FSPs) which are available in a range of weights approximately following the binomial progression. The test is conducted by firing FSPs at the armour at increasing velocities until an average velocity of penetrating and non-penetrating projectiles is obtained.

The higher the ballistic speed, measured in metres per second, the higher the rating of material, shown as V50 000m/s. The V50 (Velocity 50% or mean velocity) is the average of the velocities recorded for six fair impacts consisting of the three lowest velocities for complete penetration and the three highest velocities for partial penetration, provided the spread is not greater than 40 metres/second (STANAG 2920)

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