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Draft Revisions to Ballistic-Resistant Standard Address Needs of the Field

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: April 2016 Pages: 10-12
Date Published
April 2016
3 pages
This article reviews the rationale for and the content of draft revisions to Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor NIJ Standard-0101.06, which was issued in 2008.

With the current standard, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and its Compliance Testing Program (CTP) launched a new era in body armor testing. For the first time, it included testing armor that had been subjected to a rigorous conditioning protocol and greatly expanded the number of armor panels subjected to the testing process. With the introduction of the Follow-up Inspection and Testing (FIT) program in 2011, the CPT began providing oversight of the first-ever testing of production samples of ballistic-resistant models listed on the program's Compliant Products List (CPL). Not long after the FIT program got underway in June 2012, however, NIJ began planning to develop the next iteration of the standard. A Special Technical Committee (STC) composed of law enforcement officers; test laboratory staff; and subject-matter experts from NIJ, the CPT, and other agencies met in February 2013 to discuss revisions needed for the upcoming NIJ Standard-0101.07. Plans call for a draft of that standard to be released for public comment later this year. The revisions will consist primarily of refinements and clarifications, many of which will impact only the test labs and CTP. Changes affecting law enforcement agencies and officers in the field are mainly in the areas of protection levels, type of ammunition used in testing, vocabulary refinements, and testing of armor for female officers. Over the past several years, NIJ has convened several focus groups of female officers to assist in informing the development of a test protocol specific to armors for female officers. CTP staff engineers have used this input in devising new and appropriate test methods.

Date Published: April 1, 2016