ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Ceradyne Inc., a 3M company, has been awarded two U.S. Army contracts for helmets and hard body armor inserts.
The low-rate initial production contracts have a combined value of $43 million.
Ceradyne said the Integrated Head Protection System is a lighter-weight ballistic helmet system that also provides passive hearing protection and increased blunt-impact performance. This helmet system includes numerous accessories, including a mandible, visor, night vision goggle attachment device, rails and modular ballistic applique.
More than 5,300 of the next-generation helmets are to be delivered under the $7 million award, with their production to begin next year.
More than 30,000 Vital Torso Protection – Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts will be produced starting next year under a $36 million contract.
"We are honored to be the awardee of these prestigious contracts," said Cheryl Ingstad, business manager, Advanced Ceramics Platform – Defense, 3M. "The SPS [Soldier Protection System] program represents the highest level of lightweight technology to date.
"Our focus from the onset has been to meet the Army's stringent specifications for the SPS, and that will continue as we move into initial production. As a leading science company, 3M has deep expertise in advanced lightweight materials, which, combined with our proven production history, differentiates our defense offerings."