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The AR500 A3 Level III+ Alloy Composite Hard Armor Plate minimizes the compromises one must make when choosing armor by emphasizing the strengths of two different armor types: polyethylene and steel. Historically, these two materials have been separated and contrasted with an either-or mentality. The A3 Body Armor Plate removes that completely by using each in one plate, giving you the best of both worlds.
The A3 Armor Plate's steel strike face provides a higher level of protection than a PE plate alone. It's able to stop the most common variants of 5.56x45MM such as mild steel penetrator M855 "Green Tip", M193 Ball and 7.62x51MM NATO M80 Ball. The polyethylene backer provides a lightweight backing that can absorb a round after the steel mitigates the impact. More Protection. Thinner. Lightweight. This FragLockâ¢ coated armor plate can stop steel penetrator rounds like the M855, is 30% thinner than AR500's PE armor at only 0.7", and weighs only 4.6 lbs.
- Material: Alloy, Polyethylene & Polyurea Cover
- Protection: 7.62x51mm NATO M80 Ball, Steel-Jacketed Bullets (U.S. Military Designation M80) With A Specified Mass Of 9.6 g (147gr) And A Velocity Of 2,780 ft/s (+/- 30 ft/s). Special Threat Protection Against M193, M855 And 7.62x39mm PS Ball
- Capability: Edge-To-Edge Multi-Hit Protection
- Form: Curved
- Dimensions: 10" x 12"
- Weight: 4.6 lbs
- Thickness: 0.7"
- Plate Carriers: Testudo, Valkyrie & Invictus
- Shelf life: 5 years
- Manufactured: United States (pending NIJ approval for 0101.06 certification (all tests passed))
Frequently Asked Questions
What will level 3 body armor stop?
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) rates level 3 body armor protection at 6x shots of 7.62x51mm @ 2,780 FPS from 51' away. This AR500 Armor Heritage plate and our UHMWPE (Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene) P2 plate are both rated to stop this threat.
What is a level 3+ plate and what is it rated?
Level 3+ indicates a protection rating that meets and exceeds the NIJ level III rating. Unfortunately, since level III+ is not a regulated threat level, this only means the plate can hold up to level III AND specific additional threats specified by the manufacturer NOT covered under the NIJ 0101.06 listing. Level 3 plus performance is going to vary from model and manufacturer. Most manufacturers use 3+ to denote the coverage of all 5.56 threats. For example, the AR500 A1, A2, and A3 hard armor plates are all III+ but have slightly different velocities at which they can handle 7.62x39, 5.56x45, and 7.62x51. The variable factors at which a III+ plate can perform are usually going to be defined by the materials used and the plate weight.
Why is polyethylene (PE) used in body armor?
Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene or UHMWPE or PE for short is a lightweight super strong polymer that began its journey in life as lightweight sails for yachting competitions. The material (at the time referred to as Dyneema) was used because of how lightweight and rip-resistant it was. When UHMWPE is cut and pressed into varying thicknesses, it is capable of deforming and encapsulating ballistic projectiles. The pro of this armor is it is the lightest-weight rifle-rated protection on the market at only 3.3 lbs. The cons of this armor, if polyethylene is the only material used, are due to the unique nature of this armor's stopping capabilities, steel core ammunition such as the 5.56 M855 "Green tip" can potentially punch through, along with its steeper cost to manufacture.