USMC Awards Contract for New Gen 3 Soft Armor

    M27s all up in here

    Marines of 2nd Marine Regiment with M27s (USMC/2nd Marine Div)

    Armor Express has been selected by the US Marine Corps to provide more than 65,000 Plate Carrier Generation III Soft Armor Inserts. Armor Express will work with KDH Defense Systems to manufacture the soft armour inserts and will also provide the USMC with data reports.

    Here’s Armor Express’ full statement on the contract award:

    Central Lake Armor Express, Inc. (“Armor Express”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-performance armor solutions, today announced that it has been awarded a multi-year, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract from the Marine Corps Systems Command (Contract #: M67854-19-D-1509). The contract was competitively procured as a total small business set-aside, with a potential value of $59.4 million. Under the terms of the award, the Company will provide up to 65,469 Plate Carrier Generation III – Soft Armor Inserts and data reports, with production expected to be completed by October 2023.

    Jim Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of the holding company that owns both Armor Express and KDH Defense Systems stated, “It is our extreme honor to be chosen by the U.S. Marine Corps for this prestigious award, and we thank them for the trust they have placed in us. We also commend ongoing efforts by the U.S. Armed Forces to develop lighter body armor systems, while improving the modularity and flexibility of plate carriers deployed in the field. It is the servicemen and women who ultimately benefit, and all of us at Armor Express and KDH Defense Systems, stand ready to deliver.”

    Mr. Henderson added, “With the recent contract extensions KDH received for the Modular Scalable Vest and Blast Pelvic Protection, along with this most recent ballistic protection award for Armor Express, we have secured over $140.0 million of potential business with the U.S. Armed Forces over the past two months. Working in tandem with our supply chain and technology partners, it remains our goal to provide all customers with the most advanced, lightweight and comfortable protection, supported by unparalleled delivery and service.”

    The Company intends to leverage the manufacturing capabilities of KDH Defense Systems and will produce the ballistic armor at KDH’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Eden, North Carolina.

    Here’s the Department of Defense’s contract announcement, posted on the 26th October:

    Central Lake Armor Express Inc.,* Central Lake, Michigan, was awarded a $59,369,617 ceiling, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production of up to a maximum 65,469 Plate Carrier Generation III – Soft Armor Inserts and data reports.  Work will be performed in Central Lake, Michigan, and is expected to be complete by Oct. 24, 2023.  Fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $2,220,578 will be obligated on the first delivery order immediately following contract award and funds will before the end of the fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured as a total small business set-aside via the Federal Business Opportunities website with 13 offers received.  The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity (M67854-19-D-1509).  (Awarded Oct. 25, 2018)

    Sources: 1 2

    Matthew Moss

    Matthew Moss – Assistant Editor.

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of, a new video series on historically significant small arms.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]