Ballistic plates made in Taiwan for use in military-grade bulletproof vests have met local and international standards, and passed tests showing their effectiveness, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday.
The ministry made the statement at a news conference after a video on YouTube said that bulletproof vests used by Taiwan’s military were ineffective.
Major General Pan Huan-ya (潘煥亞) of the Armaments Bureau’s 205th Arsenal said that ballistic plates produced by his arsenal have repeatedly passed required tests in Taiwan and the US.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
In 2016 the plates were sent to Riverside, Maryland-based Chesapeake Testing, which specializes in testing ballistic and armor protection systems, and passed Level III body armor compliance testing, which is administered by the US Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Pan said.
The military also conducted four rounds of tests locally on Nov. 15 and Nov. 30 last year, and on Feb. 7 and June 27, which also showed the domestically made ballistic plates meet NIJ Level III ballistic capabilities in accordance with NIJ Standard 0101.04, he said.
Pan said that tests shown in videos 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.
NIJ Level III testing is conducted with regular 7.62mm NATO full-metal jacket bullets, but the YouTuber used 5.56mm armor-piercing bullets, Pan said.
The NIJ standard also stipulates that body armor compliance testing be done on ballistic plates with inserts, but the YouTuber either failed to use inserts or put them in the wrong place, he said, without elaborating on the nature of the insert or its proper use.
The US-based Taiwanese YouTuber said that the ballistic plate was provided by New Taipei City Councilor Lin Ping-yu (林秉宥), a member of the Democratic Progressive Party.
The camera operator and narrator in the videos said that the guns and bullets used to test the body armor were not those used by the Chinese army, but were similar.
Lin has refused to say 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 ministry said that if the ballistic plate used in the videos was found to be a controlled product of Taiwan’s armed forces, it would hold whoever was responsible for the item being given to a member of the public legally responsible.
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