Russian Innovation: Ricochet Lightweight Jacket

The Ricochet Vest represents an important innovation in lightweight ballistic armor. Weighing just two kilograms, this new equipment solves a significant problem that is shared by all designs of body armor that utilize ceramic or metal plates for protection. The effectiveness of regular plating can be at the mercy of how close the bullet comes to hitting a target at a 90-degree angle, as such a configuration can easily cause the piercing of protective armor.



According to news sources, The Ricochet Vest, which was designed chiefly by Colonel Andrey Kochubei from a police academy in the city of Volgograd in southern Russia, will not pierce because it uses a large number of small balls, which are made from a special alloy. An incoming bullet is almost guaranteed to ricochet, as the balls help the armor to either absorb its energy or deflect it completely.

The Ricochet Vest can arrest a close range shot from a Kalashnikov Assault Rifle, which is considered to be one of the first true assault weapons, and due to its durability, low production cost and ease of use, remains the most widely used rifle in the world. The Ricochet Vest can also deflect the impact of a bullet from a Dagunov Sniper Rifle, which is a semi-automatic firearm developed decades ago in the Soviet Union.

Even though the creation and manufacture of ballistic armor is a dynamic industry, the design of this new vest is considered quite innovative because it is so very light at two kilograms (4 pounds), as opposed to the standard issue armor-proof jacket for the Russian police, which weighs ten kilograms (20 pounds). Still undergoing laboratory tests, the only negative feature to this new Ricochet Vest is its estimated price, which will run about $5,000 US dollars per vest.

Ain’t that a shot in the arm (or at least one directed at the arm)?