FENIX Protector vests are designed to protect users against the following risks:
- Effects of small arms projectiles
- Effects of shrapnel grenades and explosive devices
- Effects of stabbing and cutting weapons
Vests can be supplied with a sufficient protection against all these risks, or against any of them. Generally speaking, the vest is to prevent the penetration of bullets, shrapnel or blades into the user’s body and thereby prevents the users from injuries. Becouse the bullets from small arms have high energy when hitting, the task of ballistic vest is to reduce their secondary effect, i.e. the trauma effect (flexure of vest at the point of hitting) and minimize its effect on the wearer´s body.
Ballistic vests are made up of the following components:
The carrier serves to attach the vest to the body of the user and is important for a wearing comfort, weight distribution of ballistic inserts and panels on the user´s body and, in the case of tactical ballistic vests, for fastening personal equipment and material with MOLLE band.
The ballistic insert is a protective layer that can stop certain projectiles of small fire arms and shrapnels from grenades and explosive devices. It can be completed with layers, which are resistant to penetration of stabbing and cutting weapons.
It is made from materials composed of aramide fibres (Twaron, Kevlar) or from polyethylene foils (Spectra, Dyneema). The ballistic insert generally protects against pistol bullets (calibre 9 mm Luger Mag 44, 357 Sig) and shell fragments. The ballistic insert is usually completed with the so-called anti-shock layer that reduces the aforementioned “trauma effect”. This layer aims at distributing the energy of shots to the largest possible area and thereby reducing the flexure of the vest at the point of hitting.
The ballistic insert is called soft. This means that it adapts to the body shape of the user without considerably limiting his movement. The ballistic insert is stored in a water impermeable container, since the presence of water reduces the effectiveness of the ballistic insert.
The ballistic panel is a security feature that protects users against the effects of projectiles of powerful calibres, such as rifles and machine guns (5,56×45 mm, 7.62×39 mm, 7,62×54 mm, etc.). The panel is therefore manufactured from hard materials such as steel, ceramics, polyethylene or hardened carbide composites. As the ballistic panel is hard and unable to adapt to the body shape of the user, it is placed in the vest in the form of front and rear panels, usually 30 x 25 cm, possibly on the sides with typical dimensions of 15 x 15 cm.
Ballistic panels are manufactured in many variations and degrees of resistance and panels from the weight about 1.1 kg to 3.4 kg at different levels of resistance are currently used.