Rabintex Knightex Body Armor/Ballistic Armor: Goodbye Zylon, Hello Knightex?

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by David Crane

Awhile back, DefRev published a story on the Rabintex Attack Helmet, which is currently the lightest IIIa rated combat/tactical helmet in the world. The Attack Helmet is just one example of Israeli technological innovation of late with regard to products with military Spec-Ops and LE SWAT applications.

Well, Rabintex is back, this time with a body armor/ballistic armor product called Knightex. This product was recently introduced at the Milipol Show in Paris. Knightex is an all-aramid, Zylon-free (no Toyobo components) anti-ballistic fiber composite that is stronger and lighter than any aramid composite product that has come before it (at the same protection level).

At 4.2 kilograms per square meter (0.86 pounds per square foot) at 5mm thickness for level IIIa protection (rated to stop high-velocity 9mm NATO ball and certain types of .44 Magnum ammo), Knightex approaches Zylon’s extreme light weight to strength ratio, only without any of…

Zylon’s (or Spectra’s) alleged heat and humidity vulnerabilities or premature integrity degredation problems (as have been portrayed by various sources, including threads on TacticalForums.com–see links below). We received the information on Knightex’s weight and performance from Rabintex officials. Knightex’s light weight is revolutionary for an aramid fiber that "meets and exceeds all progressive standards in the market (e.g. NIJ, SK, IDF etc.)." Just to compare, Rabintex officials informed us that Kevlar comes in at 6 kilograms per square meter. DefRev isn’t sure whether they were referring to Kevlar 129 or KM2.

So, how does Rabintex’s Knightex achieve such impressive performance? Well, DefRev really doesn’t know, because the company is currently extremely tight-lipped about it. Rabintex did, however, share with us that "raw materials are chemically treated in a special way, at the factory.” Knightex is also a hybrid material. DefRev believes one of the aramid components in it is Twaron, but we don’t yet have any proof to back up this theory.

Rabintex also offers an "improved" or "upgraded" Knightex product that weighs 4.6 kilograms per square meter. This “improved/upgraded” Rabintex Knightex product was developed in order to meet the German SK1 standard, and was supplied recently to the German Army (Bundeswehr) for testing. It is DefRev’s understanding that this "upgraded" Knightex product is basically a level IIIa+ product, since it was created to stop the Dynamit Nobel Action 4 9mm round, as well as another German round called the QD-PEP. Both of these bullets, according to reports, are all brass (containing no lead), and only deform minimally at the lips of the hollowpoint.

Rabintex’s primary goal with Knightex, it would appear, is to literally replace every single Zylon-incorporating anti-ballistic protective vest and panel/insert in U.S. military and law enforcement (LE) inventories.

Knightex comes with a 10-year warranty, and is currently patent pending.

DefRev hopes that both the Rabintex Attack Helmet and Knightex body armor products live up to the company’s claims, especially in the long run.

Assuming they do, Rabintex deserves to sell a lot of Knightex.

If you or your organization would like to purchase Knightex body armor or ballistic panels, you can contact Rabintex’s marketing manager, Shachar Bernhard, at shaha06@attglobal.net, or Itai Gomer at itai@rabintex.com. Yoav Kapah, Rabintex’s technical guru and head of R&D, can be contacted at yoav@rabintex.com. You can contact Rabintex Industries by phone (they’re located in Israel) at 972-3-5700-196. Remember to dial "011" first, if you’re calling from the U.S.

The following are Rabintex company documents on Knightex aramid composite body armor/ballistic armor:

Click here to download Knightex Ballistic Panel Technical Specs Sheet (December, 2003).

Knightex Flyer (front)

Knightex Flyer (back)

Clicking here will take take you to a pic of various Knightex body armor panels that were on display at the Rabintex/Knightex booth at the Milipol 2003 Show in Paris.

As DefRev has already mentioned, Knightex is a Zylon-free product. If you’d like to read more about Zylon’s alleged problems with heat/humidity susceptibility and integrity degredation, below are some highly relevant links. DefRev supplies them to you in order to put into perspective the importance of the Rabintex Knightex aramid composite products:

More Proof: ZYLON ARMOR RECALL (TacticalForums.com Thread)

The Harbinger of Zylonista Extinction (TacticalForums.com Thread)

Pacific Safety Products Position on Zylon Use in Ballistic Panels (Business Wire Article)

Monarch Fourth Gen IIA Test Failure (TacticalForums.com Thread)

Officials Sue Maker of Bulletproof Vests (CNN.com Article)

Second Chance Files Suit Against Toyobo -(TacticalForums.com Thread)

Document Needed: Second Chance Waiver (TacticalForums.com Thread)

Colorado Leads the Way in Officer Safety, While FOP and IACP Wuss Out (TacticalForums.com Thread)

The following thread is VERY interesting reading: Evaluation on the behaviour of different items placed behind body armour when shot (TacticalForums.com Thread)

Rabintex Knightex Body Armor/Ballistic Armor: Goodbye Zylon, Hello Knightex? by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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