BAE Systems has produced more than 1 million hard armor inserts under Defense Department contracts primarily in support of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps and the Defense Logistics Agency.
The defense firm yesterday commemorated the milestone with a ceremony in Phoenix, Ariz., where the inserts are manufactured. The so-called SAPI plates are hard armor inserts worn on the front, back and side torso to aid in protection against fragmentation and small arms.
The inserts help protect a warfighter’s vital organs and are vital lifesavers on the battlefield, said Joe Coltman, vice president of BAE Systems’ Protection Systems.
“Our employees come to work each day knowing that the work they do could save a life and bring a loved one home to their family,” he said. “Manufacturing 1 million of these plates is a significant milestone for BAE Systems and its employees to achieve. It brings into perspective the number of lives we are protecting.”
BAE Systems first introduced the SAPI plate in 1998 to meet the demanding requirements of the DoD Interceptor program. The protective plates offer better ballistic protection over soft armor alone and are worn within a warfighter’s vest.