many of the 49,000 body armor that were delivered to the South Korean military last year and are being used by soldiers do not meet the bulletproof performance required by the military. The results of the audit were revealed. Some bulletproof vests were even penetrated by bullets.
An audit by the Board of Audit and Inspection revealed that many of the 49,000 body armor that were delivered to the South Korean military last year and are being used by soldiers do not meet the bulletproof performance required by the military. Some bulletproof vests were even pierced by bullets. / Board of Audit and Inspection
The reason why these bulletproof vests were produced and delivered after passing the performance test was because the military supplier manufactured the bulletproof vest as a ‘test fit’ so that only the performance test could pass well regardless of the actual performance of the bulletproof vest. The Defense Science and Technology Promotion Research Institute (Kukkiyeon) of the Defense Agency for Technology and Quality under the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, which is in charge of quality control of body armor, approved the manufacture and delivery of body armor even though it knew that the military supplier was using this trick.
According to the audit report on the “Status of Improving Service Conditions for Soldiers” released by the Board of Audit and Inspection on the 18th, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration signed a contract to purchase 56,280 bulletproof vests worth 10.778 billion won from military supplier A in December 2021.
According to our military’s performance standards, body armor must have a certain degree of flexibility so as not to hinder the wearer’s activity. In addition, it is necessary to block bullets fired from a specific distance and angle. A body armor hit by a bullet fired in this way must not be penetrated in any part. In addition, even if the body armor is crushed inward, the depth of the neck and left and right sides must not exceed 44 mm. This is because if the body armor is dented deeper than this, the body armor itself will pierce the body of the wearer, killing or injuring the wearer.
There are also established methods for testing whether body armor meets this standard. Bullets are fired against the neck and left and right sides to inspect whether the body armor is penetrated or deformed beyond the standard value. Bullets are fired at the edges of the body armor rather than the middle, because these areas are generally considered more vulnerable than the center of the body armor.
However, the body armor made by company A did not meet the military performance standards as a whole, but was just designed to pass the test. The body armor of this company was made by attaching 50 layers of bulletproof material, but only the neck and left and right sides had an additional 6 layers of high-density bulletproof material. Knowing that bullets were fired only in these parts in the performance test, it was made to meet the standard in this part. On the contrary, only 50 layers of bulletproof material were applied to the central part of the body armor, which is considered to have stronger bulletproof performance in ordinary body armor. This was because the flexibility of the body armor was measured based on the central part of the body armor. It was revealed that company A had even conducted its own test to see how many layers it had to add to meet the standard, while increasing the amount of bulletproof material added to the neck and left and right sides in March and April 2021.
Company A submitted such a design plan to Kukkiyeon. Kukkiyeon approved company A’s design plan with only partial modifications, even though it knew that company A only added bulletproof material to certain parts. At the same time, the Defense Agency for Technology and Quality (KPI), which actually conducts the performance test of bulletproof vests, did not inform that the bulletproof vests of company A had additionally added bulletproof materials only to specific parts. According to the prescribed test method, Kipumwon fired bullets only at the neck and left and right sides, and concluded that company A’s body armor had sufficient performance. Accordingly, company A has supplied 49,622 bulletproof vests to the Army since April of last year.
While Company A was supplying bulletproof vests, Kukkiyeon even received a complaint that ‘Company A manipulated bulletproof performance by reinforcing only certain parts’. Then, Kukkiyeon slightly changed the location of the bullets and re-tested the performance, and again concluded that there was no problem with the performance. However, the position Kukkiyeon adjusted was also a place where the effect of adding bulletproof material was achieved.
The Board of Audit and Inspection conducted a separate test on the body armor supplied by Company A. When company A tried to hit the bullet by avoiding the area where the bulletproof material was added, the bulletproof performance decreased as the distance from the area where company A added bulletproof material increased. In some body armor, when I tried to shoot the middle of the body armor corresponding to the wearer’s stomach, the body armor was penetrated.
The Board of Audit and Inspection said, “Due to Kukkiyeon’s neglect of quality assurance work for body armor, the military is supplying body armor from company A whose bulletproof performance has not been properly verified in 2022.” There is a risk of not being able to do that,” he pointed out.
Company A said, “Because body armor is a ‘simple purchase product’, it is only necessary to manufacture it according to the specifications, test it according to the procedure required in the purchase request, and then deliver it. ” he retorted. The purpose is that the Board of Audit and Inspection should not take issue with the quality of body armor based on the results of tests conducted according to procedures not specified in the purchase request.
Regarding this, the Board of Audit and Inspection said, “According to the terms of the contract, supervision and inspection of the contract item메이저놀이터 (body armor) is in accordance with the State Contract Act, the Defense Acquisition Program Act, quality control regulations and related regulations, and the contract partner (company A) fulfills the obligations set forth in the above laws and regulations. “Company A’s claim that it applied an inapplicable regulation is not true,” he said. The Board of Audit and Inspection also pointed out, “The Ministry of National Defense, which has written military requirements, demands that ‘bulletproof performance must be met in all parts of the body armor’.” As claimed by company A, it is not enough to meet bulletproof performance only in areas where performance tests are normally performed.
Company A also insisted that bullets should not be fired perpendicularly to the body armor, but should be fired at an angle of 30 degrees or 45 degrees to the center of the body armor. When the bullet is fired at an angle, the impact on the body armor is greatly reduced, and at this time, whether or not the bullet is penetrated or the degree of deformation should be considered. Company A also said that the Board of Audit and Inspection unfairly reflected the result of shooting bullets into bulletproof vests at a speed that exceeded the standard.
Regarding this, the Board of Audit and Inspection said, “The Board of Audit and Inspection did not conduct the test directly, but it was the result of designating only the firing position (to test the central part of the bulletproof vest) to an authorized testing agency of the Board of Audit and Inspection, and the agency tested the type and speed of bullets in accordance with the standards, and the Board of Audit and Inspection The launch angle was not arbitrarily adjusted.” He also said, “We did not use the result of the measurement of the bullet speed, which is not valid.”
The Board of Audit and Inspection ordered the DAPA to re-deliver new body armor from company A for body armor that did not meet the performance standards among the body armor delivered from company A. In addition, it was notified to limit the eligibility of company A to participate in bidding in the future. Regarding Kuk-yeon, who neglected quality control of body armor from company A, they demanded that two people in charge be disciplined.
The Board of Audit and Inspection also found that even if the body armor worn by ordinary soldiers is manufactured according to military performance standards, its ability to camouflage at night is poor. On the outside of the body armor, a strip made of cloth (narrow fabric) is added so that the wearer can attach various combat equipment, but the DAPA has not made a standard that this narrow fabric must also have camouflage performance so that it is not captured by the enemy’s thermal surveillance equipment. . As a result, it was confirmed that the body armor for general soldiers, which the military had procured until recently, did not have camouflage performance during night operations. Night camouflage performance standards apply only to body armor used by soldiers of the Army Special Warfare Command.