Mysterious Exit; How The Best Body Armours Disappeared.
The funny thing about the 2000s to now, that in terms of body armor terms, if we looked at what was accessible on the internet compared to what is accessible now, there is a remarkable difference. In fact, we'd have gone backward! One might ask why, and that is a good question. The AA4 armour plate is the most notable case. Built by Ceradyne in the early 2000s, the AA4 was a piece of advanced body armor capable of defeating a 7.62x51mm Swiss P AP penetrator. This tungsten core penetrator was for its time, and still to an extent is, remarkable, being able to defeat an NIJ IV compliant armour plate at 350 meters, while maintaining match-grade accuracy.
But, contrary to what you might think, this armour didn't get limited to the military, SOF, or other alphabet soup agencies. No, they had all the information on a public website. FirstDefense had a listing of the AA4, as a 10x12 for 2.2kg and rated for Swiss P AP. Further, if you do even some mild digging, on a site called CIEHUB you can dig up a plate issued to Vietnam helicopter pilots known as the SARVIP, a heavyweight armour plate capable of stopping B32 API threats.
Then there is, of course, the esoterics. Ceraflex scalar body armor, similar to Dragon Skin, but it actually worked. LIBA body armor, in one instance, saving the life of an IDF Commando in Golan Heights, 2002 after 15 7.62x39mm hits from an AKM.
But why have you never heard of these advanced body armors before? Why did these amazing pieces of tech apparently disappear? It can all be traced back to Dragon Skin, and no this is not a conspiracy. before Dragon Skin, terms like NIJ V were bandied around a bit, people played with NIJ IV+ ratings, things were fairly loose. Armour ratings weren't as capped to IV as they are today. Then DS's controversy hit, their armour failed spectacularly, the remaining founder made a big stink, and, well, the term Level V suddenly had a bad name. Overnight, a lot of off-NIJ armours faded into obscurity. Even helmets were not immune; Armour plates like the SLAAP, an armour plate intended to instantly increase the threat level of a basic pistol rated helmet to 5.56/7.62x39mm, just faded out. However, the tides seem to be turning. We have rediscovered the above armours and more. Who knows, however, just what has been done in that 15 years or so gap? Only time will tell...