PHOENIX, April 30 (UPI) -- A $75 million order has been given by the U.S. military to BAE Systems for hard armor inserts for protective tactical vests.
Deliveries of the Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts -- which was given by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency -- are expected to begin in September and continue through much of next year.
BAE Systems said the order is the first under a new three-year contract and that orders throughout the contract's performance period could amount to as much as $236 million.
"The ESAPI plate protects against multiple hits from small arms threats," said Don Dutton, vice president and general manager of Protection Systems at BAE Systems Support Solutions. "These hard armor inserts help to save lives on the battlefield."
BAE Systems has produced more than 1.2 million ESAPI and SAPI inserts for the U.S. Defense Department since 1998.
The plates are produced at a company facility in Phoenix.