Tactical Tailor

Posts Tagged ‘KDH’

KDH Lays Off 280 at Eden NC Plant

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, body armor manufacturer KDH is laying off 280 in January at their Eden, North Carolina plant due to the end of Government orders.

KDH manufacturers the IOTV for the Army as well as the IMTV and Plate Carrier for the USMC.

This lay off is hoped to be temporary as KDH works to bring in LE business, but the slow down will affect almost two-thirds of their work force.

KDH Releases Body Care and Use Manual

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Get yours at kdhdefensesystems.com

They will also be in booth #6003 at SHOT Show.

Take This! Oh Yeah? Well, Take That!

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

In 2009, KDH and Eagle Industries entered into a teaming agreement to bid on production of the USMC’s Improved Modular Tactical Vests and Plate Carriers. KDH was awarded contracts for production of both systems by the Marines. Initial production samples were made but some issues arose over the Government’s design and consequently costs rose. Eagle says that KDH couldn’t come to an agreement on pricing so, in September, Eagle Industries sued KDH alleging, “refusing to honor previously established prices, by offering Eagle only take-it-or-leave-it pricing, and by threatening to use entities other than Eagle to perform work encompassed by the Teaming Agreement.”

Eagle vs KDH

Naturally, KDH filed their own suit against Eagle. However, this one is a little tougher to follow. Had they just countersued they would have had to file in Missouri. But their suit alleges an entirely different set of circumstances. This means that the KDH suit was filed in North Carolina. You might think that KDH is a Pennsylvania company but you see, they moved to their current ISO 9001 facility in Eden, North Carolina from Johnstown, Pennsylvania in early 2010 after the passing of defense appropriations sugar daddy Rep John Murtha. At any rate, according to KDH, Eagle bought some armor to fulfill a contract, that they never paid for. They want their paper!

KDH vs Eagle

Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that these two suits, while focusing on two seemingly separate issues, are actually symptoms of a larger issue of corporate discord.

The defense budget is shrinking. There won’t be as many contracts in the future, as we have seen over the last 10 years, so expect to see more of these types of suits filed as companies begin to deal with the new reality. Things are getting tough. However, considering what lawyers cost, they both may well end up losing even more money on these lawsuits than they would have had they just sucked it up and made things happen.

Army Purchasing More SPCS

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

For any of you that missed the saga that is the Soldier Plate Carrier System (SPCS) you can find a great synopsis here. Since downselecting the KDH design in SPD 7, the Army has procured an initial amount in UCP, purchased the Technical Data Package (TDP) from KDH, changed the colorway to OCP, and developed a cummerbund.

Now, Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment (PM SPE) is seeking additional OEF Camouflage Pattern (OCP) Soldier Plate Carrier Systems (SPCS). In addition to 17,000 complete carriers, the Army is also seeking up to 42,000 OCP kits in order to modify existing SPCS and up to 32,000 cummerbunds with soft armor package. Additionally, 57 First Article Test vests will be be required within 30 days of contract award. The procurement is set aside from Small Business and offerors have until 8 August, 2011 to respond.

Top 3 Soldier Systems Shockers – 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

There were three major shockers this year and all happened over the last few months.

1. Blackhawk’s Serpa is New SOCOM Holster – After a Natick sponsored shoot off at the US Training Center in Moyock, NC, the Blackhawk Serpa was chosen as the new holster component for SOCOM’s series of Load Carrying System (LCS) Kits.

2. Army Adopts KDH Plate Carrier – In fact, KDH wins every major armor contract in the latter half of 2009. After a GSA-based solicitation KDH was chosen to provide the US Army with 57000 Soldier Plate Carriers the first of which are to be fielded in January for use in Afghanistan.

3. UK Releases Multi Terrain Pattern – With a little help from Crye Precision the MoD adopted a new pattern blending the color scheme of MultiCam with the feel of DPM.

KDH Does It Again

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Like the little engine that could, KDH wins yet another armor contract. This time for 57,000 plate carriers. So this makes IOTV, IMTV/PC, and now the Army’s Plate Carrier all at the same time. Not bad for a small business. I wonder how they are getting it all done. They have opened a new factory in Eden, North Carolina that is according to recent visitors, only at half capacity. Unfortunately, the real issue with capacity these days isn’t floor space or number of machines but rather human capital. Finding qualified, experienced sewers and other textile workers even in areas where plants have closed in the past is extremely difficult.

Lots of conjecture on the web about how KDH continues to win contracts but quite honestly, it probably has a lot to do with price. Estimates indicate that KDH probably offered the plate carriers to the Army at just over $300 a pop with soft armor based on the number of vests and the amount of the award. That is about half what other companies were seeking.

KDH Plate Carrier

Interestingly, the Army handled this procurement through GSA and this is the first time that they have used GSA to purchase armor due to concerns over ballistic ratings. Additionally, the GSA solicitation was open for a fairly short window and in spite of a requirement during Soldier Protection Demonstration VII that the carriers be releasable, the GSA solicitation dropped it altogether yet they retained the 9 lbs weight threshold associated with a heavier cut-away system. Of course, neither SOCOM nor the Marines have a cut-away plate carrier system. But these oddball requirements meant that companies that did not meet the requirements for inclusion in SPD VII were able to bid on the plate carriers through GSA.

KDH lists their Soldier Plate Carrier with Quick Release System on their GSA website for $439.29 so we are unsure if they bid that at a discount via GSA or a non-releasable system. According to the description of their vest it “Includes OTV/IOTV Specification(FQ/PD 07-05 Latest Rev. CO/PD 00-02 Latest Rev.) Lvl IIIA Equivalent Soft Ballistc Inserts and Integrated Side Plate Pouches. Also available with NIJ Specifica”.

Eagle Awarded SPC Contract

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

The Marine Corps has awarded ATK’s Eagle Industries business unit a $20 million contract for further deliveries of the Scalable Plate Carrier. Reports of the order do not specify the number of SPCs but they are to be delivered by January 2010. This order combined with the recent sub-contract for deliveries of the IOTV to the Army make the still unresolved Army Releasable Plate Carrier award even more interesting. Already competitors KDH and Eagle had their hands full with the smaller IOTV order and now Eagle has a further order for the Marine SPC. According to early announcements, the Releasable Plate Carrier was supposed to have begun fielding this month. This leaves both Tactical Assault Gear and MSA/Paraclete with ample production capacity. In particular MSA/Paraclete may be feeling the crunch as they did not receive a piece of either of the IOTV contracts.

IOTV Award

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

On 17 July, 2009 Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Dir of Clothing & Textiles awarded contract number SPM1C109C0022 for $39,371,150.00 to KDH Defense Systems of Johnstown, PA for production of 65,000 VEST, BODY ARMOR (Improved Outer Tactical Vest).


The carriers will be produced by four sub-contractors who are required simply because of the demands of the delivery schedule which requires delivery of the 65,000 vests between September and December of this year. They are: DJ Manufacturing Corp. of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Eagle Industries Unlimited (Front Line Defense International, Inc.) of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Eagle Industries Del Caribe Inc. of Lares, Puerto Rico, and Savannah Luggage Works of Vidalia, GA.

Announcement of this award may come as a sigh of relief for some as it had been delayed several times. Interestingly, the companies involved in this award, as well the finalists in the Releasable Plate Carrier program may indicate a passing of the torch, so to speak, from the larger, more traditional armor companies to smaller manufacturers. Also, as two of the four finalists for that program will be heavily invested in producing IOTVs until the end of the year it will be intriguing to see if there now continues to be a delay in announcing the award for the Releasable Plate Carrier. Additionally, Eagle Industries has captured a notable portion of this business which seems to indicate a new emphasis on large piece contract sewing since being purchased by ATK.