The Military Times is reporting that nearly half of the body armor being used by US troops has been slated for recall. The equipment has been found to be faulty, and it’s manufacturer, Ceradyne Defense, has found a manufacturing defect in the product. The company usually does good work, as it’s been a supplier for the US military for decades.
A SOCOM spokesman says that the defect only applies to “a small percentage” of the units, but it’s enough to make the military nervous about putting lives on the line.
“SOCOM implemented measures to test and if needed withdraw (affected) plates from operational inventories,” spokesman Kenneth McGraw wrote.
“To date, there has not (been) an impact on Special Operations missions or (any) injuries as a result of defective plates.”
The standing claim is that the defect applies to less than 5% of the plates that were tested. The company was applauded for dealing with the problem directly.
According to USA Today:
Ceradyne describes itself as a developer and manufacturer of ceramic components and systems for a wide range of uses. Defense products account for about 40% of its business. The 3M Co. has offered to buy Ceradyne for $860 million. Ceradyne’s shareholders are scheduled to vote on the deal Nov. 27.
According to documents posted on Ceradyne’s website and since removed, the defect seen in SPEAR Gen III plates is similar to problems previously identified in other plates built by Ceradyne for use by SOCOM.