Abstract In this study, the glass/epoxy composite laminate is layered with polyurethane foam/ polyurethane sheet and silicon carbide to analyse their response during high mass and low velocity impact. The silicon carbide is layered in two forms, one is as plate and the other is as inserts. The target materials are prepared in various combinations and the bonding of layers is done by using epoxy. Effectiveness of silicon carbide inserts and plates are compared in terms of their energy absorbing capacities. The numerical simulation is also carried for the target material with the same experimental conditions. The experimental results are compared with the numerical results for validation and a reasonably good agreement is found. Further, the validated numerical model is extended to understand the ballistic performance of the target material. It is observed that the introduction of silicon carbide as front layer improves both the structural and ballistic performance. Also, the damage in case of samples with silicon carbide inserts is localized as opposed to that of silicon carbide plate.