MCKEE, Ky., Nov. 2 (UPI) -- BAE Systems celebrated the production of more than 15 million Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment components for U.S. military forces.
A ceremony to commemorate the milestone was Monday at BAE Systems' Protection Systems business in McKee, Ky. where the components are manufactured.
As the primary field equipment system for the U.S. Army, the MOLLE system is made of a variety of load-carrying equipment, including vests, pockets, backpacks and hydration systems, all of which are configurable for specific mission requirements.
The system is a highly modular platform that enables warfighters to carry gear and supplies critical to their mission. The basic MOLLE system is the Core Rifleman configuration, which is comprised of a Large Assault Pack, a variety of general purpose and magazine pouches as well as a hydration system.
"The MOLLE system provides users with a completely customizable set of equipment which allows for readiness, mobility and efficiency of the warfighter," said Don Dutton, vice president of BAE Systems' Protection Systems. "Reaching a milestone, such as the production of 15 million components, is an exceptional achievement for BAE Systems."
BAE Systems first developed MOLLE in 1997 in conjunction with Natick Soldier Systems Command, winning a contract to support a modernization effort within the U.S. Marine Corps.
Designed with the intent to improve load carrying equipment effectiveness and sustain heavier loads, MOLLE quickly became the system of choice for various service organizations.