BAE Systems has been awarded a $43m contract extension by the Defence Logistics Agency to produce the Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) Core Rifleman sets and components.

The MOLLE is the primary field equipment set for the US Army and incorporates a load-bearing vest, pockets, backpacks and a hydration system. It also evenly distributes the weight of the equipment carried by the troops to minimise injuries.

The $43m contract is part of $374m multi-year contract awarded to BAE Systems in June 2008. So far, about $171m has been awarded as part of the contract.

The MOLLE sets will be produced at the company’s facilities in Arizona, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Tennessee with deliveries scheduled for completion by November 2009.

In the last four years, BAE Systems has produced over 1.5 million MOLLE sets.