Army’s Tests of Body Armor Flawed

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Army made “critical mistakes in tests of a new body armor design.” MSNBC Link The AP cites a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that concluded the Army deviated from established testing standards when selecting a new type of bullet-blocking plate for its ballistic vests. According to the GAO report, had the proper testing standards been observed, several of the designs that passed would have failed.

The GAO report is calling for an outside review by ballistics experts of the Army’s testing standards. The Defense Department has apparently rejected this idea. Given the Defense Department’s opposition to an external review, the GAO has turned to Congress to make its case. It appears that the GAO is being heard because last Friday, Representatives Neil Abercrombie and Roscoe Barlett sent a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh urging him to follow the GAO’s recommendations.

The Army is not currently fielding the bullet-blocking plates. Instead, they are being stored until needed to meet future demands.