Body armor sales increase steadily

March 25, 2007 at 9:37 PM

WASHINGTON, March 25 (UPI) -- U.S. body armor manufacturers are enjoying big sales as the demand has gone up for effective armor for troops in Iraq.

The Washington Times reported that the Pentagon has spent nearly $5 billion over the past five years on body armor for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Times reported that the Army issues body armor to each of its soldiers fighting in the Middle East, and one set costs up to $3,150.

With demand for body armor continuously rising, manufacturers such as Ceradyne, Armor Holdings and Armor Works are clamoring for the Army's multimillion-dollar contracts, the report said.

The Times reported that U.S.-manufactured body armor is known to be the best in the world.

"It's a heck of a lot harder to kill an American than it used to be," said John Pike, the director of Global Security, a defense-information database in Alexandria.

"There are five times more (improvised explosive device) explosions in Iraq than there were three years ago, but the number of American casualties from IEDs have stayed the same," he said. "I think that's impressive."

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