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Encyclopedia > Small Arms Protective Insert

The Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) is a plate used in the Interceptor body armor, a new-generation bullet-resistant vest. It is also used in a broader context to refer to all kinds of rigid inserts to stop bullets. The kevlar Interceptor vest itself is designed to stop projectiles up to and including 9mm submachine rounds (meaning it it classified as NIJ IIIa), in addition to fragmentation. To protect against rifle fire in critical areas, supplemental plates are needed. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... It has been suggested that Small-arms protective insert be merged into this article or section. ... Armor plating is by definition to install armor, typically on a vehicle. ... Interceptor body armor in woodland camouflage with groin and neck protector. ... Man in body armor A bullet-proof vest (also known as body armor) is a protective torso covering that absorbs the impact from gun-fired projectiles and explosive fragments. ... The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development and evaluation agency of the United States Department of Justice. ...


Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 323 KB)SAPI Plates. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 323 KB)SAPI Plates. ...

Material and capabilities

The standard plates for the Interceptor body armor are made of boron carbide ceramic. They are able to stop up to three rifle bullets of caliber smaller or equal to 7.62×51 NATO and muzzle velocity smaller or equal to 2,750 feet per second (838 m/s). The ceramic plate is backed with Spectra shield, a material up to 40% stronger than Kevlar. Boron Carbide (chemical formula B4C) is an extremely hard ceramic material used in tank armor, bulletproof vests, and numerous industrial applications. ... Fixed Partial Denture, or Bridge The word ceramic is derived from the Greek word κεραμικός (keramikos). ... It has been suggested that Break action be merged into this article or section. ... .357 Magnum cartridges, containing bullets A bullet is a solid projectile propelled by a firearm and is normally made from metal (usually lead). ... The word calibre (British English) or caliber (American English) designates the interior diameter of a tube or the exterior diameter of a wire or rod. ... NATO 7. ... A guns muzzle velocity is the speed at which the projectile leaves the muzzle of the gun. ... Dyneema or Spectra is a synthetic fiber based on ultra high molecular weight polyethylene which is 15 times stronger than steel and up to 40% stronger than Kevlar. ... Chemical structure of Kevlar. ...

The standard plates are rated as NIJ III when used alone and NIJ IV when backed by the soft armor of the OTV.

Other constructions use different materials ranging from steel (which are heavier, can stand multiple hits but are said to lead to fragmenting bullets) to silicon carbide [1] or aluminium oxide. Plates vary in their weight, curvature, ability to withstand multiple hits and whether they need a NIJ IIIa vest backing them to reach protection level NIJ IV. Silicon carbide (SiC) is a ceramic compound of silicon and carbon and occurs in nature as the extremely rare mineral moissanite. ... Alumina redirects here. ...


SAPI plates meant for American military body armor come in two classes (front/back and side) and three sizes (large, medium and small)[2]. Their sizes are as following:

Front and back plates:

  • Small: generally 8x10"
  • Medium: generall 10x12"
  • Large; generally 11x14"

Torso side plates are as follows:

  • Small:4.25"W x 6"H
  • Med: 6.50"W x 6"H
  • Large:6.50"W x 8"H

Physics behind SAPI plates

The mechanism of effect lies in absorbing and dissipating the projectile's kinetic energy in local shattering of the ceramic plate and blunting the bullet material on the hard ceramic. The Spectra backing then spreads the energy of the impact to larger area and stops the fragments, preventing an injury of the wearer. The kinetic energy of an object is the extra energy which it possesses due to its motion. ...

The same principle is used for the ceramic tiles used for the armored cockpits of some military airplanes, and the spall liners used in modern armoured personnel carriers. Very high speed photography of a small projectile impacting a thin aluminium plate at 7000 m/s. ... East German BRDMs on parade during celebrations of the 40th anniversary of East Germany in 1989 Armoured personnel carriers (APCs) are light armoured fighting vehicles for the transport of infantry. ...


  1. ^ as for example made by Morgan Crucible
  2. ^ http://lightfighter.net/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/829100313/m/270102643/p/8

See also



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