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The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract modification worth $45 million for the low-rate initial production of lightweight torso and side body armor that protects soldiers while reducing their carrying load.
The modification was awarded under the Soldier Protection System Vital Torso Protection program, which represents the future in lightweight, high-performance hard body armor.
“This award shows the continued importance of BAE Systems to the Army’s drive to deliver the lightest weight body armor available today,” said Robert Monks, director of Warfighter Protection Programs at BAE Systems. “It positions us to continue as a leading supplier of the lightest, next-generation body armor for the U.S. Department of Defense.”
Under the contract, BAE Systems will provide three armor variants: the Lightweight X Small Arms Protective Insert (XSAPI), a torso plate that protects against various threats; and two side plate variants, the Lightweight X Side Ballistic Insert (XSBI) and Lightweight Enhanced Side Ballistic Insert (ESBI), which enhance the protection afforded by the torso plates. These plates offer the same level of ballistic performance as previous generations but are at least seven percent lighter, reducing the load on the warfighter.
BAE Systems will deliver more than 90,000 plates under the contract modification. The work is underway at the company’s Phoenix, Arizona, facility.
BAE Systems’ ballistic experts continuously work to develop and enhance the company’s hard and soft body armor solutions to provide better performance and protection while decreasing weight. BAE Systems has produced and delivered more than 1.25 million hard armor inserts since 1998, and to this day remains at the forefront of vital soldier protection equipment that keeps our warfighers safe.