The US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has awarded a contract modification to BAE Systems for the production and delivery of additional improved outer tactical vests (IOTVs) to the US military.

Valued at $35m, the new order forms part of an original four-year $267m contract secured by the company in March for supply of undisclosed units of outer tactical vests (OTVs), IOTVs and related equipment to DLA.

BAE Systems Protection Systems business warfighter protection director Eric Gavelda said the IOTV served as a necessary and life-saving piece of equipment for the soldier by shielding vital organs and providing protection against a variety of battlefield threats.

The company has already received an initial $48m instalment, as well as the original contract, with deliveries scheduled to be complete by February 2013.

Developed in close cooperation with the US Army, the IOTV is a modular bullet and fragmentation protection soft armour system designed to safeguard soldiers against a wide range of ballistic threats in the battlefield.

“The IOTV served as a life-saving piece of equipment for the soldier by shielding vital organs and providing protection against a variety of battlefield threats.”

Designed as replacement for the older OTV variant of the interceptor body armour (IBA), the lightweight vest is compatible with yoke/collar, throat protector and groin protector, as well as small arms protective inserts (SAPI), enhanced small arms protective inserts (ESAPI) and enhanced side ballistic inserts (ESBI).

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More than 800,000 outer tactical body armour vests have been manufactured by BAE for use by the US soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and worldwide since 2007.

The company has also produced and delivered a female-specific version of the IOTV for female soldiers deploying to Afghanistan in September 2012.

Manufacturing work under the latest contract will be carried out at the company’s Jessup facility in Pennsylvania, US, and deliveries are scheduled to conclude by October 2013.

Image: A US Army soldier wearing an improved outer tactical vest. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.