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Army: Most ballistic plates not properly tested have been recalled

By Published: August 4, 2011

UPDATED AUG. 5, 5:20 P.M.

The Army did not properly test millions of body armor ballistic plates, but most of those that were plates fielded have been recalled and no casualties have been reported as a result, officials said.

In an Aug. 2 report, the Defense Department Inspector General's Office faulted the Army for only being able to provide "limited assurance" that more than 5 million ballistic plates met contract standards because the Army did not consistently enforce requirements for testing the plates. 

However, the Inspector General's Office could not say whether the plates were faulty because it did not do any ballistic testing of its own.

Based on the report's finding, the Army has clarified the terms in body armor contracts relating to the test projectile velocity and shot placement, and it now includes weather and altitude testing, the Army said in an emailed response to Stars and Stripes.

Two lots of the ballistic plates that did not meet testing standards were fielded, but 58 percent of those plates have since been returned, all of which were found to meet the "maximum level of protection requirements" in follow-up testing, according to the Army response.