BAE Systems to ramp up production of lightweight body armor

Phoenix facility will manufacture armor for U.S. Army as part of $45 million contract.


In a glimpse of the future for high-performance body armor, BAE Systems recently won a $45 million contract modification from the U.S. Army for initial production of lightweight body armor from its plant in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Protecting soldiers while reducing their carrying load, BAE will supply three types of lightweight torso and side body armor under the modification, providing the same level of performance but reducing the payload by at least 7 percent.

“This award shows the continued importance of BAE Systems to the Army’s drive to deliver the lightest weight body armor available today,” Robert Monks, director of Warfighter Protection Programs at BAE Systems, said. “It positions us to continue as a leading supplier of the lightest, next-generation body armor for the U.S. Department of Defense.”

Contracted to provide 90,000 units, BAE already has begun production on the three variations of the armor, including a Lightweight X Small Arms Protective Insert (XSAPI), which is a torso plate protecting against various threats; and two side plate variants, the Lightweight X Side Ballistic Insert (XSBI) and Lightweight Enhanced Side Ballistic Insert (ESBI).

BAE Systems ballistic experts strive to continuously develop and enhance the enterprise’s hard and soft body armor systems to deliver better performance and protection. BAE Systems has produced and delivered more than 1.25 million hard armor inserts since 1998.

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