This paper presents a numerical investigation of the ballistic performance of monolithic, double- and triple-layered metallic plates made of either steel or aluminium or a combination of these materials, impacted by a 7.62-mm APM2 projectile in the velocity range of 775–950 m/s. Numerical models were developed using the explicit finite element code LS-DYNA. It was found that monolithic plates have a better ballistic performance than that of multi-layered plates made of the same material. This effect diminishes with impact velocity. It was also found that double-layered plates with a thin front plate of aluminium and thick back steel plate exhibit greater resistance than multi-layered steel plates with similar areal density. These predictions indicate that multi-layered targets using different metallic materials should be investigated for improved ballistic performance and weight-savings.© 2011, Elsevier Ltd.