Ceradyne, a 3M Company, has received a contract modification that is worth $34 million from the US Army to assist in the making of body armor pieces for enhanced small arms protective inserts (ESAPI) for the Solider Protection System Vital Torso program. This contract was created because the U.S Armed Forces were looking to seek improvement on their agility and mobility. The U.S. Army has been brainstorming ideas on how to reduce the weight of the soldier’s armor without losing much protection.
According to Cheryl Ingstad, the business manager of Advanced Ceramics Platform – Defense, 3M, the company is working on these improvements:
“We’ve made it our mission to leverage innovation in advanced materials science to reduce the weight burden carried by soldiers. 3M’s capability to decrease the weight of products, while maintaining or even enhancing performance characteristics, is well-recognized in industries from automotive to apparel. 3M has deep expertise in safety products used by the military, such as Peltor tactical communications systems from 3M, and head, eye, hearing and respiratory protection. 3M is the only provider to supply the U.S. Armed Forces with both body armor and the most advanced helmet available, the enhanced combat helmet (ECH). “
Ingstad also commented on the quantity they have manufactured for the U.S. Armed Forces:
“Ceradyne has fielded over 100,000 ECHs and 2 million body armor inserts to the U.S. Armed Forces. Our speed in production and delivery is in part due to our major investment in state-of-the-art helmet manufacturing. Just as we invest heavily in research, development and manufacturing, we also have a major effort underway to understand and translate soldier needs in head and body protection to exciting, new developments in our products.”
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