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Navy to Begin Testing New Body Armor for Naval Security Forces

Students of the Ship's Reaction Force Advanced Class enter and secure the bridge during a shipboard force-protection simulation at the Center for Security Forces Pearl Harbor Learning. Simulations such as these educate and train for real-world situations. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Cleary)
Students of the Ship's Reaction Force Advanced Class enter and secure the bridge during a shipboard force-protection simulation at the Center for Security Forces Pearl Harbor Learning. Simulations such as these educate and train for real-world situations. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Cleary)

The U.S. Navy will soon begin the first tests on its newest body armor -- the Naval Security Forces Vest.

The Navy awarded a $30.4 million contract to KDH Defense Systems, Carter Enterprises and Applied Fiber Concepts on Feb. 7, according to an award notice posted on FedBizOpps.gov.

The new ballistic vest "consists of a base vest and modular components for tailoring protection levels to defeat multiple ballistic and fragmentation hazards while performing security and Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection," according to an April 9 press release from Applied Fiber Concepts and Propper International, a subcontractor for AFC.

The Naval Security Forces Vest features Level IIIA ballistic inserts; an outer carrier; and yoke and collar assemblies, according to the release.

The Navy could order more than 51,000 vests, but each order will have to be competed among the three prime contractors, Alex Cejas, president and owner of Applied Fiber Concepts, told Military.com.

The Navy is expected to place two to three orders a year, consisting of 2,000 to 5,000 vests per order, Cejas said.

The five-year agreement requires each company to pass First Article Testing to maintain eligibility, according to the award notice.

"Providing advanced ballistic protection that can be configured to best fit the mission will allow the brave men and women responsible for keeping us safe to focus on their jobs and feel confident that they are protected," Michael Haynes, vice president of business development for Applied Fiber Concepts, said in the release.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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