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Insert Plates


The ultimate protection


Fortis® Armour insert plates provide the best possible protection against rifle and multi-hit threat.

Insert plates are designed to work in conjunction with a the soft armour plates. (SAP). The bullet is decelerated, fragmented and deformed by the insert plate and any fragments are captured in the soft armour behind the plate.





There are two types of ballistic plates in general use today; ‘Stand-Alone’ and ‘Insert’.

Stand-Alone Plates

Made from ceramic or polyethylene are designed to capture bullets fired from high-powered handguns and rifles where the bullet velocity exceeds 500 m/s. Stand-alone plates are made to contain the bullet in the plate without the need for a soft armour vest behind them to capture any fragments. However, from a practical point of view, without the protection of a vest behind the plate, the wearer would be exposed to serious trauma, since there would be nothing to cushion the wearer from the massive energy dump from high-powered, large calibre ammunition.

For this reason we do not recommend the use of Stand Alone Plates.


Insert Plates

Are designed to work in conjunction with a suitable soft armour ballistic vest (HG2 or NIJ 111A), where the bullet, when fired from a rifle, has a velocity in excess of 500 m/s, and/or the bullet construction has a hard-core material. The bullet is decelerated, fragmented and deformed by the insert plate and any fragments are captured in the soft armour vest behind the plate.

Insert plates are usually made from one of two materials – ceramic or polyethylene.


Ceramic plates are made from compressed and fired alumina ceramic powders which are formed into a monolithic tile, which, after firing, is processed by adding a composite backing of GRP or aramid composite to give structural strength and a multi-hit capability. By forming them into plates of varying thickness, they can provide protection against different threat levels from high-powered handguns to high-powered rifles, firing armour-piercing ammunition to 7.62 x 63 mm calibre and offer a multi strike capability.

Ceramic plates give excellent protection up to and protection up to and beyond NIJ Level IV, including armour piercing ammunition. They are relatively thin and very competitive in price, but are slightly heavier than polyethylene plates.


Polyethylene plates are made from layers of polyethylene material, compressed into a solid pack. They are about the same or thicker than the equivalent ceramic stand-alone plates and will provide protection up to the level of the 7.62 mm Nato ball soft ammunition. The plates are lighter than their equivalent ceramic counterpart but considerably more expensive.


Polyethylene plates will provide protection to NIJ level III and are, in general, only capable of giving protection against rifle fire with ball ammunition (standard soft core ammunition) such as 5.56 x 45 mm and 7.62 x 51 mm calibre weapons, using ball ammunition only. The level of protection they give against AK 47 7.62 x 39 mm ammunition is not always predictable. AK47 ammunition is manufactured by a wide variety of armourers using variable hardness of bullet head and core construction.


Threat Assessment

It is very important to carry out a comprehensive threat assessment, before specifying the threat level for ballistic plates. The assessment must take into consideration the following factors:

  • Type and style of weapons which may be encountered.

  • Type, style and velocity of ammunition.

  • Country of origin and manufacturer of ammunition, if known.

  • Weight of plates.

  • Long or short term wear.

The most common weapon used by counter-insurgents is the AK47 assault rifle and it’s derivatives. AK47’s use 7.62 x 39 mm ammunition of variable quality and consistency. AK47 ammunition may also be armour piercing.

If the threat is from an AK47 type weapon, then the threat should treated as NIJ level 4.

For details on the Fortis '47' Plate performance and test results click here.

Please choose a product range for more information.

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