Pentagon has announced on 6 March that the U.S. Army decided to buy more lightweight torso and side body armor that protects soldiers while reducing their carrying load.
According to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Defense, three companies have been awarded spots on a potential $704.2 million hybrid contract to supply hard armor plates to the U.S. Army.
Ceradyne Inc., Irvine, California; Leading Technology Composites,; and TenCate Advanced Armor USA Inc., will compete for each order for Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert and X-Small Arms Protective Insert hard armor plates.
“Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 5, 2023,” said in a statement.
According to the current information, the Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert, or also know as ESAPI, is a ceramic trauma plate used by the United States Armed Forces. An ESAPI provides protection from .30-06 Springfield M2 armor-piercing (AP) with a steel or tungsten penetrator in accordance with the NIJ Level IV standard.
The X Small Arms Protective Insert (XSAPI) is a next-generation plate that protects against a variety of threats. They specifically allowed scalar or flexible systems, and asked for better coverage, with less than a pound of additional weight. The higher protection level silicon carbide XSAPI has the potential for use if threats are experienced that exceed the protection capability of ESAPI.