KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


Spartan Armor, a Tucson company that makes body armor is sending it to Ukraine

Relief groups buying armor for resistance troops
Posted: 8:05 PM, Mar 10, 2022
Updated: 2022-03-11 07:35:39-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — When disasters happen we may send food, money or clothes but one Tucson company says relief groups are calling in to send body armor to Ukraine.

Since the Russians invaded Ukraine, people all over America have looked for ways to try to help—and a Tucson company is offering some serious protection.

This is some help that can take a bullet for you. Spartan Armor Systems uses a variety of materials to make body armor for law enforcement, military and law abiding civilians.

The most basic can stop a slug from a handgun.

But Spartan’s seeing a surge in demand for some of the toughest vests they make—the vests with ricochet resistant steel plates able to stop a bullet from a military rifle—including the rounds Russian troops use.

Company President Todd Meeks says some of the sales surge is U.S. residents reacting to uncertainty in the world but a lot of orders are going to Ukraine.

“A lot of these people are concerned citizens and they partnered with Ukrainian relief organizations," Meeks said. "And there are regulations to ship body armor overseas. And they're working with those organizations, organizations to apply, you know with those export and import laws.”

Meeks knows a lot of Urkainians fighting right now are not trained soldiers.

“In Ukraine, I know they're handing out AK-47s to civilians that haven't had any training," Meeks said. "At least with body armor you know, it's just protection that you're putting on and you're cinching up the vest and it's going to be helpful no matter how you wear it.”

He says he ships the armor to relief groups in the U.S. and they handle the tricky business of export regulations, getting the vests into Europe and on to Ukrainian fighters.

“I believe that we're helping the right side of what's going on over there," Meeks said. "And so we're helping out civilians and protecting them. And it's one thing that they're calling out for a lot of Ukrainian Americans that have friends and family over there. They're saying we need body armor and it's one of the topics. We need ammo, we need humanitarian supplies and we need body armor.”

And he knows some of the armor made here in Tucson could save the life of a Ukrainian who was a civilian a few days ago before Russian troops invaded and forced them into the line of fire.

Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.