The US Army has awarded a contract modification to BAE Systems to continue the production of lightweight torso and side body armor that protects soldiers while reducing their carrying load. Hard and soft body armor solutions have been a mainframe of BAE’s core business for close to 15 years.
The modification was awarded under the Soldier Protection System Vital Torso Protection program, which represents the future in lightweight, high-performance hard body armor. Hard Armor ballistic inserts provide enhanced levels of protection and are designed to stop threats that soft armor cannot accomplish alone. The ballistic inserts vary in weight, performance and cost depending on the specific needs of the customer and mission but, typically, is designed to withstand multiple hits and provide fragmentation protection.
BAE Systems ballistic experts are continually developing and enhancing SAPI and its derivatives to provide better performance and protection while decreasing weight. Since 1998, BAE Systems has produced and delivered over 1.25 million hard armor inserts and continues to be industry leaders for producing and providing hard armor protection.
“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 continue to deliver more than 90,000 plates under the contract modification. The work is currently in progress at the company’s facility in Phoenix, Arizona.
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