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U.S. Army orders next-gen body armor

New, lighter-weight body armor inserts are being produced for the U.S. Army by Ceradyne Inc., a subsidiary of 3M.

By Richard Tomkins
U.S. Army orders next-gen body armor
U.S. Army Sgt. Benjamin Herrmann is fitted for body armor with the help of Spc. Ryan Johnson during the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition in 2013. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce/Released

ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 14 (UPI) -- 3M subsidiary Ceradyne Inc. is providing the U.S. Army with ballistic armor inserts for tactical vests.

The order for next-generation lightweight enhanced small arms protective inserts, or ESAPI, body armor is a $34 million contract modification, issued under the Army's Soldier Protection Systems Vital Torso Protection program.

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"We've made it our mission to leverage innovation in advanced materials science to reduce the weight burden carried by soldiers," said 3M's Cheryl Ingstad, business manager of Advanced Ceramics Platform - Defense. "3M's capability to decrease the weight of products, while maintaining or even enhancing performance characteristics, is well-recognized."

3M said delivery of 28,000 low-rate initial production of the next-gen ESAPI inserts will be completed next year. Additional detailsof the contract modification were not disclosed.

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