The US Army has exercised a contract option with Kraig Biocraft Laboratories for the supply of genetically engineered spider silk that could be used to make protective armour for soldiers.
As part of this additional award, the company has been tasked with designing, producing and delivering additional recombinant spider silk materials tailored for protection products.
The total value of the original contract, awarded in July 2016, is now more than $1m.
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories was initially contracted to supply ballistic shoot packs constructed from the company's proprietary Dragon Silk material for performance testing.
The Dragon Silk project seeks to develop genetically modified spider silk for use in protective underwear for US soldiers, according to media sources.
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories COO Jon Rice said: “Under this new phase we will be working closely with our sponsor agency to match the performance of our spider silk to their specific use cases and protective applications.
“The potential uses of spider silk are nearly limitless, but one of the greatest honours is being able to apply our technology to serving those who dedicate themselves to serving and protecting all of us.”
Soldiers working in Iraq and Afghanistan commonly suffer genital injuries as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) explode from the ground-up, Sputnik International reported.
According to Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, dragon silk has high tensile strength and elasticity, making it suitable for a wide variety of applications.