The US Army RDECOM has awarded an $18.7m order for SAPI (Small Arms Protective Inserts) lightweight ceramic body armour to Ceradyne, a manufacturer of advanced technical ceramic products.

The SAPI side plate uses hot-pressed boron carbide and silicon carbide ceramic integrated with optimised composite structures to provide multi-hit protection when worn in conjunction with approved body armour

The order is part of the Foreign Military Sales requirement.

The components are scheduled for shipping in the fourth quarter of 2009, with completion planned before December 31.