DND Solicitation W8476-165488A for Sniper Body Armour System
Biokinetics is well versed in the testing and evaluation body armour, supporting both government research agencies and industry with independent expert commercial testing and evaluation services. Biokinetics is recognized by the RCMP, DND and DRDC for our scientific knowledge and technical competency in conducting ballistic evaluations.
There is no doubt that stab resistant body armour can save the lives of law enforcement and corrections officers alike. Yet, the stab threats that they are exposed to are very different suggesting that perhaps the armour they wear should be catered to each type of threat. The civilian/uncontrolled stab threat environments are represented by commercial weapons that are very effective at penetrating, slashing and cutting. In contrast, stab threats found in correctional institutions are improvised threats and are less severe as they are hand made with inferior materials, sharpening techniques and may be difficult to use effectively. A study1 of over 1000 weapons acquired from several US prisons and correctional facilities has been carried out and representative test knives and spikes have been developed2 for adoption by the NIJ.
Stab Resistant body armour designed for commercial weapons has improved over the years with advanced materials and construction methods but they still can be thick, stiff, heavy and hot resulting in discomfort, diminished operational effectiveness or not being worn at all times. With the anticipated lower severity of the stab threats in a corrections environment, it should be possible to improve upon these limitations, ultimately improving personnel safety. For armour manufacturers to respond to these needs, however, a performance test standard is required that not only incorporates commercial weapons but improvised threats as well.
This is exactly what the NIJ has been working on for the past few years, to develop a test standard that reflects both commercial and improvised stab/slash threats while addressing potential issues that may diminish armour performance such as degradation and the use of stitching in female body armour. The results of these efforts will be found in a revised draft standard “Stab Resistance of Personal Body Armor, NIJ 0115” that is expected to be released for public comment some time in 2017. After this, it will be finalized and considered for inclusion in the armour Compliance Test Program (CTP). More information on the improvements to the NIJ 0115.00 performance test standard can be found in the May/June 2017 article of eTechBeat3.
The Stab Test Apparatus4, developed by Biokinetics for meeting the NIJ 0115.00 test protocols, has been in use by industry for several years allowing for quick and repeatable testing of stab armour. With the upcoming revised standard, enhancements have already been made to allow the use of both commercial and improvised knife/spike stab threats while providing flexibility for implementing upcoming slash test methods. Further improvements have been made with the threat holder missile to speed-up threat attachment and replacement of the foam compression disks. More repeatable performance is also obtained with greater disk venting and precision of the stab threat clamp. The computerized system electronically measures the stab missile drop height and speed just prior to impact with high accuracy. A height adjustable armour support base with tilt adjustment accommodates armour samples of varying thickness and an easily positioned safety shield completes the test system by ensuring safety in the test area from broken threats.
Stoe D., Robinson C., Rowley N., Bir C., “Novel Approach to Body Armor Standards Development”, Technical paper in the Personal Armour Systems Symposium, Cambridge, England, 2014.
Shewchenko N., Rowley N., Baines D., Bir C., “Development of Stab Weapon Exemplars from a Survey of Threats in a Corrections Environment”, Technical paper in the Personal Armour Systems Symposium, Cambridge, England, 2014. http://www.biokinetics.com/about-us/publications.html
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is updating NIJ Standard-0115.00 (Stab Resistance of Personal Body Armor) with a draft being released later in the year for public comment. Changes to the standard include:
armour testing requirements for improvised stab/slash threats faced by corrections officers in controlled areas,
testing requirements for officers requiring protection from commercial stab/slash threats in uncontrolled areas,
testing specific to female body armour models, and;
conditioning (tumbling the armors for many days) prior to testing.
Biokinetics is contributing its expertise and experience to creating a safer nation as a member of ASTM’s (American Society for Testing and Materials) newest technical committee; E54 on Homeland Security Applications. Biokinetics is involved with the ASTM subcommittee E54.04 on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
As homeland security initiatives continue to evolve, voluntary consensus standards are viewed as a critical unifying component to the long-term success of these initiatives. Unified standards development under the ASTM umbrella offers us the opportunity to team up with other technical experts who, together, will help create the standards and guidance materials that will influence major areas of homeland security.
ASTM and NIJ (National Institute of Justice) have created a custom portal designed to make sharing relevant data easier than ever before. This is part of a larger effort in which NIJ and ASTM International are working together to develop standards and test methods that address the needs of the public safety community. Continue reading →
Biokinetics will be at the PASS in Amsterdam on Sep. 19th-23rd to discuss behind armour blunt trauma (BABT) assessment methods. While there are more biofidelic methods to measure the underlying trauma from the backface of armour impacting the head or torso, an understanding of the measurements, their accuracy and repeatability are essential for their consideration as a standard for evaluating the safety of products. Drop by and see how we can help solve your challenges from ballistic, blast and blunt impact threats.