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DEFENSE/Military's ballistic plates meet required test standards: MND

07/11/2023 04:48 PM
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A bulletproof vest is seen in this Facebook photo posted by New Taipei City Councilor Lin Ping-yu on July 6, 2023. Photo taken from Lin Ping-yu
A bulletproof vest is seen in this Facebook photo posted by New Taipei City Councilor Lin Ping-yu on July 6, 2023. Photo taken from Lin Ping-yu's Facebook page

Taipei, July 11 (CNA) Ballistic plates made in Taiwan for use in military bulletproof vests have met local and international standards and passed required tests proving their effectiveness, Taiwan's military said Tuesday.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) was responding to a video by a city councilor and YouTuber claiming that bulletproof vests used by Taiwan's military were ineffective.

At a press briefing Tuesday, Major General Pan Huan-ya (潘煥亞) of the 205th Arsenal of the MND's Armaments Bureau said ballistic plates produced by his arsenal have repeatedly passed required tests both in the United States and in Taiwan.

The shields were previously sent to U.S.-based Chesapeake Testing, which specializes in testing ballistic and armor protection systems, in 2016 and passed National Institute of Justice (NIJ) level III body armor compliance testing, according to Pan.

The military also conducted four rounds of tests locally on Nov. 15 and Nov. 30, 2022, and on Feb. 7 and June 27, 2023 that also showed the domestically made ballistic plates meet NIJ Level III ballistic capabilities in accordance with NIJ Standard 0101.04, he said.

Pan said the bulletproof tests shown in a video released by YouTuber Uncle Sam Gun & Fun (山姆小叔 Gun & Fun) on Friday revealed that the YouTuber did not understand NIJ body armor compliance testing standards.

The NIJ standard requires that NIJ Level III should be conducted with regular 7.62 mm NATO full-metal jacket bullets, but the YouTuber used 5.56 mm armor-piercing bullets, Pan said.

According to Pan, the NIJ standard also stipulates that body armor compliance testing be done on ballistic plates that come with inserts, but the YouTuber either failed to use inserts or put them in the wrong spot, he said, without elaborating on the nature of the insert or its proper use.

According to the U.S.-based Taiwanese YouTuber, the ballistic plate was provided by New Taipei City Councilor Lin Ping-yu (林秉宥), a member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

The narrator of the video said the guns and bullets used to pierce the body armor are not those used by the Chinese army, but that they are very similar.

Lin has since refused to disclose where he found the plate purported to be made by the 205th Arsenal. He said his main goal was to show that Taiwanese soldiers need better protection from Chinese bullets.

The MND, meanwhile, has pledged that if the ballistic plate used in the video was found to be a controlled product of Taiwan's armed forces, it will ask those responsible for the leak to take legal responsibility.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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