— The production of Oberig bulletproof vests was launched in the spring of 2023. What changes have taken place during this time and what are your plans for 2024?

— Production of Oberig is deployed at the Oktava Tula plant, which is part of the Rostec State Corporation. Due to high demand, volumes are constantly increasing. Initially, the capacity of our enterprise allowed us to produce up to 2 thousand products per quarter, but now they have increased significantly. I will not name absolute figures, but I can say that in 2024 the volume of production will increase manifold compared to the outgoing year.

In 2023, Oberig was delivered to the territorial defense units of the Belgorod region and other customers. Now the Ministry of Defense and other law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation, individual regions, charitable organizations that help participants in the NWO, and individuals are showing interest in the bulletproof vest.

"Obereg" was developed in close cooperation with the direct participants of the NWO. First of all, the ammunition is designed for assault operations. Therefore, great attention was paid to protection and ergonomics. In our opinion, the result is an affordable, high-quality and convenient ammunition that reliably protects against fragmentation shells and bullets.

"There are many manufacturers of such armored systems in Russia. What are the competitive advantages of Obereg?

- The Charm is a high-class piece of equipment equipped with ceramic plates and an anti-fragmentation body kit that protects the collar area, shoulders and groin.

The anti-fragmentation layer of our body armor consists of a combination of several types of aramid materials of different composition and density. Due to their characteristics, they work individually with the ammunition, stopping its movement. In particular, anti-fragmentation packages protect against both fragments and pistol bullets of class Br1 and occupy the entire area of the body armor.

As standard, we offer "Obereg" with two ceramic plates that protect the vital organs from the back and chest. It is a board of our own production. It has passed all the necessary tests for the Br5 class. To date, this is the highest class of protection adapted for integration into wearable equipment. In principle, there is a higher protection class, but it is only used for special tasks that do not involve fire interaction.

  • Pavel Pavlenko, General Director of the Oktava plant in Tula, and Oberig bulletproof vest
  • © Rostec Press Service

A special feature of the "Obereg" plate is the combination of ceramics, aramid materials and a number of other components that provide multi-component protection of the fighter.

I would like to add that all sections of the Obereg, including the side ones, have anti-fragmentation and anti-ricochet layers placed in moisture-proof covers. In the basic configuration, the protection of the side sections is made according to the Br1 class, but if the customer wishes, it can be increased to Br3.

"Obereg" withstands the hit of armor-piercing sniper ammunition, while it is quite modest in weight and does not hinder movement. Ammunition does not lose its properties even in extreme conditions. "Obereg" retains its functional qualities at temperatures from -40 to +40 °C and in water.

The weight of the basic version of the Oberig armored system is 11.7 kg. However, in mid-2023, Oktava engineers improved it. In particular, we have reduced the weight due to the use of new materials.

Currently, the weight of the upgraded version is less than 9.4 kg, and the area of anti-fragmentation protection exceeds 76 square decimeters. At the same time, we tried to evenly distribute the weight so as not to overload the fighter's spine.

I do not agree with the statement that there are many manufacturers of such armored systems in Russia. A large number of enterprises and suppliers offer personal protective equipment that has not officially passed or could not pass all the necessary shootings in the relevant accredited institutions. Accordingly, such ammunition did not receive certificates.

"Obereg" has just passed all the necessary tests. The general public can get acquainted with its protective properties by watching the debut issue of the #Нашкраш project, during which various ammunition was fired.

We consider our competitive advantages to be the optimal ratio of such parameters as weight, protection class, area of splinter protection, and price.

Again, there are certainly inexpensive offers on the market. But often these products have not been properly tested, so I would be very skeptical about their actual protective characteristics. We have personally tested cheap bulletproof vests, and I can say with confidence that they often do not meet the declared parameters.

  • Shooting off the "Obereg" bulletproof vest

— Tell us about the testing and certification of bulletproof vests in Russia.

"Any armored clothing, including bulletproof vests, is subject to mandatory certification. Certification tests are carried out in accredited laboratories.

Before shooting bulletproof vests, they are checked for the effects of temperature and water. At the first stage, they are kept in a climatic chamber. First, the bulletproof vest is placed in a cold chamber, where it stays for at least two hours at a temperature of -40 ° C, then the product is sent to the heat chamber. There it stays for at least two hours at a temperature of +40 ° C. After that, the vest is immersed in a container with water to a depth of 0.2 m for at least an hour. The product is then hung vertically for five minutes and allowed to drain the water.

In the final, a series of ten shots are fired at the body armor from a distance of 15 m. 7.62 × 54 mm cartridges with a 7N13 bullet and 7.62 × 54 mm cartridges with an armor-piercing incendiary bullet B-32 (7-BZ-Z) are used. It is necessary to shoot each type of cartridge three and two times at the rear and front armor plates of the vest. The tests are considered to be passed if the vest is not penetrated, and the post-armor contusion injury - the over-armor impact of the striking element - does not exceed a moderate degree of severity.

- How well does the Br5 hold the hit of NATO ammunition? Have you conducted relevant tests?

- State standards provide for tests with Russian ammunition according to the current domestic nomenclature. Nevertheless, we also conducted tests using analogues of foreign arsenals. The most common NATO ammunition is the 5.56 caliber assault rifle cartridge (an analogue of the domestic 5.45 × 39 AK-74) and the 7.62 × 51 rifle and machine gun cartridge (an analogue of the domestic 7.62 × 54). So, our bulletproof vest successfully withstands shots with the use of these ammunition. In particular, we tried to shoot the large caliber .338 (8.6 × 70 mm), which is designed to work on lightly armored vehicles. There was no penetration.

— In addition to the Br5, you offer modifications of the Charm with lower protection classes. In what areas and from which customers can they be in demand?

- Bulletproof vests with protection class C2, Br1-Br3 are most often in demand by employees of private security companies, collectors and civilian specialists working in the NWO zone. Such products are not equipped with separate armor panels. They are relatively lightweight, but at the same time resistant to pistol bullets and shrapnel.

If we talk about Br4 vests, then they are able to protect a soldier from machine gun ammunition, so they are used in almost all branches of the military and PMCs. As for the Br5, due to their increased defensive characteristics, they are in demand in cases where there is a risk of being hit by machine gun or sniper fire. Therefore, they are almost universally used by assault units.

  • Bulletproof vest "Obereg"
  • © Rostec Press Service

— Are there any plans for further modernization and creation of new modifications of the Obereg?

— Yes, Oktava has such plans. The company's specialists are constantly working with feedback from the participants of the special military operation. Contacts with soldiers who use our product on the front line allow us to quickly make adjustments to the armored system.

One of the major improvements that we are going to implement in the near future is weight reduction without loss of class and area of protection. Oktava plans to lighten the Oberig by at least another 0.5 kg. Together with our partners, we will experiment with lighter materials without reducing their protective qualities.