5 Ways to Get a Bullet through a 'Bulletproof' Vest | The National Interest

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Yes, it is possible. 

For decades, protection has lagged far behind the lethality on the battlefield. The only actual protection against bullets and dangerous flying objects is steel, but weight forces a trade-off between protection and mobility. Adequate protection may make the soldier completely immobile. The compromise is to equip soldiers with enough steel to stop the flicks, bouncing bullets and other flying objects held from the First World War to the end of the Vietnam War, but not to stop the actual bullets.

In the past four decades, scientists and engineers have made great strides in the field of body armor. The most important innovation of body armor is the invention of Kevlar, which is an extremely tough synthetic fiber developed by DuPont. Kevlar has been improved and improved so that it can now stop large-caliber pistol bullets. Other armor types include ceramic body armor and ultra-high-density polyethylene, or plastic that can stop bullets before they penetrate the .30-06 rifle's trajectory.

Like any measure on the battlefield, there will always be countermeasures. Most major armed forces are defeating contemporary body armor while increasing their level of protection. These are five ways for bulletproof vests to meet their requirements.

At some point, all body armor cannot protect the target from a sufficiently large (and most powerful) attack. Generally speaking, larger bullets will deliver more energy to the target. Today's military bulletproof helmets can stop large-caliber pistol bullets and shrapnel, but they cannot stop rifle bullets-helmets that can stop rifle bullets are too heavy and uncomfortable. The easiest way to surpass a helmet that can stop 9mm ammunition (usually consuming 330 lbf or more) is to aim it with a 5.56mm carbine (1300 lbf).

The most obvious way to penetrate bullet-proof armor is bullets that penetrate the field armor. The U.S. Army was worried that the current 5.56mm ammunition was not enough to wear body armor at combat distance, so it invented

. ADVAP uses heavy tungsten core penetrators to penetrate armor. The combination of weight and speed (ideally a dart-like tip) can penetrate Kevlar's weave and enable the wheel to defeat other armors, including steel. The envisaged XM1158 will be issued to soldiers carrying M240 machine guns and larger rifles, which will replace the M4A1 carbines of certain frontline troops.

In the late 1960s, U.S. defense contractors developed a new small arms system designed to penetrate body armor. Dedicated personal weapons (

) Shoot metal darts instead of bullets. These darts can move at high speeds, killing or injuring enemy forces through their body armor. Unfortunately, SPIW suffers from technical problems and can never compare with traditional rifles in terms of cost. To make matters worse, metal darts do not perform well in causing bodily harm: traditional bullets break or roll shortly after entering the human body, creating a wider wound path. The dart will only pass through the enemy and cause damage, but it is not as serious as a real bullet.

The body armor can prevent kinetic energy weapons from dealing fatal injuries to friendly forces. The body armor can also be the Maginot line of defense, which can be bypassed and become irrelevant. Artillery including howitzers, mortars and improvised explosive devices may penetrate soldiers wearing body armor.

Portable rocket launchers can also achieve similar effects, especially at high explosive power and

. Although the armor may stop shattering, most armor protection measures cannot cover the face, arms, legs, and below the waist. The shock of the explosion can also damage unprotected limbs, cause brain trauma, and even cause internal injuries behind the body armor.

The technical wildcard is the use of lasers to penetrate body armor. Short and concentrated short pulse lasers can penetrate most objects, although their penetration ability depends largely on power, duration and local atmospheric conditions. The defects of energy storage and power generation technology make it impossible for us to see laser pistols, carbines and light machine guns anytime soon, but vehicle-mounted lasers are already in use.

. Although lasers are likely to burn through most body armor easily, they will encounter a problem similar to small fluff: the laser will only create a wound channel with the same diameter as the beam itself.

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