Arotech Corporation announced today its Armour of America (AoA) group has developed an improved ArmourFloat® personal flotation device (PFD) for use on ships sailing in high-risk waters.

The improved flotation device is composed of the ArmourFloat armoured flotation vest, coupled with a hard plate designed to defeat most assault rifle threats. The new lightweight hard armour plates have no negative effect on the vest’s buoyancy.

The improved ArmourFloat system is lighter and more comfortable to wear and the new hard armour plates do not compromise the life-saving buoyancy of the life preserver PFD.

Pirate actions in high-risk areas, typified by the recent hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, prompted AoA to develop a life-protecting solution for American ships and crews, similar to the solution AoA had already sold to the US navy, coast guard and law enforcement agencies.

AoA recently completed the delivery of a $1.6 million order of ArmourFloat systems intended for a navy in South America.

AoA’s ArmourFloat product is US coast guard-approved, and an underwriters laboratory-certified personal flotation device. The vests offer ballistic protection with passive flotation, keeping the wearer afloat when falling overboard, even if unconscious.

Richard Karst, AoA’s recently-appointed director of technical sales, said: “Advances in new materials have allowed the development of the improved ArmourFloat personal flotation device. Commercial ship liner sailors are now exposed to hazards similar to navy sailors, and our ArmourFloat vests can help protect their lives.”