Ballistic impact of a steel projectile on armour steel plate is examined by numerical simulations using 3-D nonlinear dynamic explicit finite element code ANSYS LS-DYNA. Simulations are attempted using a simple strain rate dependent plasticity model that can capture large strain, strain rate hardening and fracture encountered at high velocity ballistic impacts. Initial simulations are carried out for a cylindrical bullet with a semi-spherical nose shape impacting a military vehicle door at two different velocities as a test problem. This is then extended to simulate a real problem of armour piercing shot impact on a thick armour steel plate at ordnance velocity regime. The former is compared with results reported in published literature while the latter is assessed with the experimental findings. The deformation pattern generated in the deformed armour plate, residual projectile velocity and displacement of the projectile are taken as the necessary parameters for evaluating the results of simulation. The study presented in this paper demonstrates the effectiveness of the adopted simple plasticity model to simulate a highly nonlinear phenomenon to reasonably predict the physically measurable impact parameters. © 2014, DESIDOC.