Avon Protection has secured a contract from the US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to supply Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts (ESAPI) body armour plates.

This contract is the first of two one-year extension options exercised by the DLA under the original ESAPI contract awarded to the company in March last year.

The framework contract has a maximum value of $333m over its three-and-a-half-year duration.

The exercise of this initial option extends the contract until September next year. It also allows a minimum order value of $19m for the option year.

ESAPI is a product from 3M’s Ceradyne ballistic-protection business, which was purchased by Avon earlier last year.

According to the company, the exercise of the option also allows an additional $3m in contingency payments to 3M under the acquisition terms of the Ceradyne ballistic protection business, bringing the total contingent consideration payable so far to $7m.

A further contingent consideration will be payable upon receiving orders more than the minimum order value of $19m, with the maximum total contingent consideration of $25m payable to 3M.

Avon Protection noted that the first article testing is progressing according to the company’s expectations.

DLA ESAPI body armour is expected to receive formal product approval in the first quarter of FY2022 while initial shipments are expected to take place in the second quarter.

Avon Protection CEO Paul McDonald said: “I am pleased with the progress the business has made since December to address the delays experienced in obtaining DLA ESAPI product approval.

“This contract extension demonstrates our ongoing position as a leading supplier of body armour to the US Armed Forces, as well as underpinning our FY22 body armour revenue expectations.”