Feature

Body armor problems

The Army made serious errors when testing its newest type of body armor and the Pentagon said it would shelve the 240,000 plates it has already ordered.

The Army made serious errors when testing its newest type of body armor, the Government Accountability Office found. The “X Small Arms Protective Inserts” are ceramic plates fitted into tactical vests to protect soldiers against bullets and shrapnel; the GAO said that because the Army didn’t follow established testing protocols, several plate designs passed ballistics tests they would have otherwise failed.

The Pentagon, while maintaining confidence in the armor, said it would shelve the 240,000 plates it has already ordered and not issue them to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Earlier this year, following an internal report, the Army pulled almost 33,000 other plates from its inventory because of concerns about their effectiveness.

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