CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Australian Defense Force personnel on military deployment are to be issued with improved personal protection gear, the government announced Wednesday.
The new kit consists of new-generation body armor, combat helmets, hearing protection, ballistic glasses and goggles, ballistic plate carriers, packs, basic pouches and equipment bags.
"Known as Land 125 Phase 3B, the defense project to improve a soldier's individual load carriage equipment draws on the direct experience and feedback derived from 15 years of ADF combat operations," said Minister for Defense David Johnston.
"This (program) will increase soldier mobility and endurance through the acquisition of lighter and better integrated components and materiel."
The new gear is being produced by Australian Defense Apparel under a five-year contract worth about $158.5 million.
The first 1,000 sets of load carriage equipment will be delivered by Australian Defense Apparel in May of next year.
Johnston made the announcement during a visit to the Australian Defense Force Academy.