Tactical Tailor

BAE Systems Receives $35 Million Order from DLA for IOTVs

BAE Systems has received an order from the Defense Logistics Agency for $35 Million to supply Improved Outer Tactical Vests. The IOTV is the standard armor vest for the US Army and comes in 11 sizes including long versions. It incorporates soft armor panels and is designed to accommodate hard armor plates in the front rear and to the sides in the cummerbund.

DLA Troop Support ordered the vests as part of a four-year contract issued in March, which could reach a cumulative value of $267 million. BAE Systems has thus far received a total of $83 million under the contract. They report that the production will occur at the company’s Jessup, Pennsylvania facility, and this order is scheduled to be complete by October 2013.

“This tactical vest is a necessary and life-saving piece of equipment for the Soldier,” said Eric Gavelda, director of Warfighter Protection at BAE Systems’ Protection Systems business. “The vest helps shield vital organs and protect against a variety of battlefield threats. Our ultimate goal is to help our warfighters return home safely to their families.”

Since 2007, BAE Systems has produced more than 800,000 outer tactical body armor vests for US troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.


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34 Responses to “BAE Systems Receives $35 Million Order from DLA for IOTVs”

  1. steve says:

    This is terrible news. gg BAE

  2. Aaron says:

    Somehow we have yet to evolve even though there’s better stuff on the market

  3. CPT Obvious says:

    Where is his weapon? I hope that wasn’t a “real” world test…

  4. Chris Gookin says:

    Presumably these IOTVs will be in the “new” pattern…just asking

  5. badjujuu says:

    IOTVs are terrible, ask my back.
    Next time we go back, I am hoping for a Army issue plate carrier.

  6. No Math Wiz says:

    How is it that the “service members” who face a greater threat of frag and GSW continue to wear less and lighter armor. Also I would point out that all the contracted armor they wear, JPC, Paraclete PC, LBT PC, and even the Eagle MBAV, all cost less than the IOTV. They have the same coverage area for rifle rounds and only slightly less for frag. And all previous mentioned kits have add on capability. My kit running coms, 3 mags, a minifrag and an IFAK weighs about the same as the IOTV empty with just pockets.

  7. SGT Rock says:

    The IOTV was a POS design from the beginning and continues to be so. Apparently someone has been spending a lot of time either on their knees or w/their hands down someone’s pants playing pocket pool.

  8. chris says:

    what a piece of shit.This is what happens when some stinking politician decides that protection is more important than maneuverability.it’s not just the US Army dealing with shit like this,the Aussies had a similar carrier called MCBAS which caused more injury’s than it prevented. I feel your pain gents

    same shit different day

  9. Badjujuu says:

    Where is his ballistic PT belt? If you don’t wear one-the terrorist win.

    • Matty says:

      I always say that when someone says something stupid in my shop. Looks like the terrorists win.

  10. badjujuu says:

    But honestly, I am going to vent little bit – in the last couple of years, I have seen the “Helicopter Parent” syndrome kick in within the Military. The non-stop BS with how can we make the Soldier safer? Heck – slap on some knee and elbow pads, eye pro, ear pro, hand pro, ballistic underwear, IOTV with side SAPI plates, DAPS, neck protector, throat protector, pt belt- once you have all that on, put some commo equipment, basic load of M4 rounds and M9, water, NVGs, frags (if you can have them, that is) oh wait – you going to JRTC? man we forgot to add an EDI and MILES gear. Yes wear that jetpack proud son. Just so some LTC in a air condition office can watch you move on a big screen TV. Now go do some MOUT. Then, then they have the balls to tell you that your guys look like poop out there, they move slow, they are sloppy. they are not Infantry enough. I swear in the next couple of years we will bubble wrap our soldiers and will not allow them to have any field time, unless of course its “digitally simulated” from the safety of a classroom. Because God forbid they get a scrape or bruise out there while IMTing. I do not know what they are doing to wanna be Soldiers in basic or AIT, but more and more of them are coming out with weak mind – Soldiers who when obtaining a RUMINT of a potential deployment in 2014 threaten to commit a suicide and demand that they are discharged IMMEDIATELY! yes, I wish I was here making this up. But I have better things to do that write fiction novels on blogs. I have Soldiers moms call me and ask how his son can get out of a potential deployment? Seriously – YOU raised your right hand and VOLUNTEERED to serve – that means your A55 is going. And you going to have your mom call? Really.
    Again I apoligize, but I need to get this off my chest, shitty day at work.

  11. Long Range Medic says:

    Uuhhhhh- The IOTV such a cumbersome item, understood it shields but movement and comfort are with a simple plate carrier.

  12. Tom says:

    all of that looks hellaciously uncomfortable

  13. MKEOD says:

    The IOTV isn’t horrible if you get the right one, and wear it correctly.

    For one thing, they’re cut VERY big. I wear a large/long uniform and a medium regular IOTV. If you get one that’s too big it’s not going to sit right, no matter how you wear it.

    Secondly, if you strip all of the extraneous crap off of it, it’s not so bad. Take off the collar, yoke, groin protector, lower back protector, and ditch the side plates. Now it’s still bulky but better.

    This assumes, of course, you can get away with all that, which you probably can’t if you’re in the Infantry.

    Third, you need to dicker with it a lot to get it just right. You have to get your ruck adjusted, too. If your ruck doesn’t sit right on top of the armor you’re going to be hurting in a hurry.

    Here’s the thing, though. I know the slim, high ride plate carrier with the three magazines across the chest and some kind of battle belt is all the rage these days.

    The fact remains, though, that IEDs are the number one killer in Afghanistan, not enemy gunfire. Plates are less important than just being able to stop fragmentation. Making some kind of stripped down plate carrier the standard would not necessarily be the right choice.

    Now there are vests that provide good soft armor coverage that are also lighter and more comfortable than the IOTV. Army Special Forces uses, I believe, the Eagle CIRAS as their standard rig, and they seem to do okay with it. Why the Army went with the IOTV, I can’t say. Maybe BAE had production capability that other companies don’t? Maybe they were the lowest bidder?

    • straps says:

      That photo is the AWESOME. A joe with an empty ruck, no weapon and a slick vest. And the black gloves.

  14. Paul says:

    What. The. Fuck.

    How about instead of chasing lawsuits over females in combat arms, or open gays in the military, we start talking about a more capable force that can maneuver more effectively and kill bad guys/help good guys while utilizing AN ALREADY PROVEN AND FIELD TESTED ARMOR style. It’s called BALCs and MBAV cut soft armor. Why are we wasting this money on so many different armor styles?!?!?!?! Fucking shit man.

    We have things in place to mitigate risk for our soldiers – MTOE and METT-TC that will dictate what level of protection our Joes will need to accomplish the mission, among other things. The last thing we need are politicians and GOs deciding what the appropriate level of armor we should be wearing.

    Same goes for BAE to continue to rape our budget by suggesting they should manufacture such a shitty and outdated soft armor pattern.

    Can you imagine the benefit of a line unit running with the RBAV or MARCIRAS? Give Joe some fucking mobility, please. We’ll be ok, promise!

    Someone is sucking a lot of dick.

  15. james says:

    why are they still fielding GEN II… I thought theyt had replaced the older version for the new quick release system?

  16. Quigley says:

    This is hilarious. An entry that talks about a contract award has spiraled into how the system awarded is insufficient. Hey Joe, don’t like the IOTV, then why don’t you try illustrating WHY it is deficient in more words than “it sucks”. Unless that’s beyond your composition capacity. Then direct these complaints to the program office responsible for it via your chain of command. Next, why don’t you familiarize yourself with the actual requirement that drives the area of coverage of the IOTV and if you feel that it is no longer pertanent, maybe your command can address it at the next Infantry Board. But remember, you’re not always going to be operating in a COIN environment. Remember, the IOTV and SPCS are mission specific tools just like the RBAV & MBAV and the situation as well as mission set dictates what you wear or what you’re issued. Think of it like voting, if you remain silent, you’re gonna get what you get and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.

    I’m sure there are some NCOs, SNCOs and Company Level Officers who’ve posted above. Put down the remote and act like one. You ARE the OPFOR, educate yourself and make yourself heard.

    • Chuck says:

      You forgot your “sarcasm on” indicator. Oh, wait, you were serious.

      Run it up the chain, are you f’in kidding me? I can just see the blank looks I would get from the BC. Granted, my CSM is squared the fvck away, but BDE CSM would just give him a blank look if he ran my comments up the chain. And on and on.

      Run it up the chain. Really?

      Requirements my ass.

      • Paul says:

        Here’s whey the IOTV is deficient – 1. The over-cumbersome soft armor pattern with multiple areas of overlapping armor, making it redundant, especially in the shoulder and side areas, causing shoulder and lower back pain if worn for extended periods of time. 2. MOLLE real estate on the front chest area and upper back area is lacking an entire possible row or two making the attachment of a hydration carrier (or other pouches) sit too low on the carrier, causing the carrier to be unbalanced, which leads to more pain. 3. Because of the armor pattern, mobility is lost in the shoulders and waist. This causes all sorts of body mechanic issues and forces the wearer to adjust movement based on his armor. The system should work FOR him, not AGAINST him, in that respect.

        The list could go on a few more and I’m sure there are others that could expand or add their input. The fact remains, it is disappointing that we still wear, in the GPF, an outdated/archaic armor system. There are other cuts of armor that offer slightly less protection for improved fit and mobility, that already have government contracts. Why not ditch the IOTV armor pattern in favor for the BALCs pattern that already exists in the Army supply system? Same with the KDH plate carrier instead of just using the MBAV that already existed! We spent money of developing AN ENTIRELY NEW SYSTEM! WTF?!?!

        Either ordering more or expanding the contract for BALCs carriers would seemingly cut cost while providing an updated, modern armor system for the general force. Think about it.

    • SGT Rock says:

      Do work for BAE or at DLA?

  17. Quigley says:

    Chuck, your proclivity toward apathy is a testament to your situation and is clearly illustrated by your statement of “Requirments my ass”. As previously stated, READ the requirment and then address it from an educated position.

    Paul, good input on the deficiencies regarding the system. If I were issued the IOTV, I would address it to those responsible. You’d be surprised how much traction such input receives. In regards to the adoption of the SPCS over the fielded MBAV, I don’t have a response. I would however recommend reading the 21 December 2009 Army Times article: “Army defends choice of unproven plate carrier”. This supports your argument for the MBAV by citing that; “the highest rated was the Eagle MBAV – 92 percent of the guys said they’d wear it on a dismounted mission in Afghanistan”. Unfortunately, there is not much insight into the reasoning why the MBAV was not chosen. However, the cited deputy project manager was quoted saying: “We can’t just go with the MBAV because its out there and battle proven”. Like you, this has left many scratching there heads in an effort to extrapolate the logic behind the decision. However, the catalyst for that inquiry came from the observations submitted by a lone SFC who decided to draft his concerns in a factual manner. It may not have done much, but “paper doesn’t refuse ink”.

    In regards to issuing the SPEAR cut soft armor profile, once again, you need to look at the requirment each branch has defined for their respective systems. I imagine that in a world where Flag Grade officers have to answer to the “Mothers of America” any wholesale reduction in area of coverage will not be taken into consideration.

    I’m sure that such information does not serve as any solice. However, if one SFC can compose his concerns in a matter that results in congressional attention, imagine what could happen if a hundred such individuals who were united in a common goal could attain?

    • straps says:

      “I imagine that in a world where Flag Grade officers have to answer to the “Mothers of America” any wholesale reduction in area of coverage will not be taken into consideration.”


      IOTV is what it is because of the casualty stats. Data collected on personnel injured while wearing armor is pretty comprehensive, to the point where the Surgeon presents a fairly persuasive analysis for the number and seriousness of casualties that comes with each square-inch reduction in coverage.

      That’s the stat that drives the discussion. The musculoskeletal injuries that might or might not happen are addressed by pre-habilitation programs that might or might not work. And if jumping ditches takes too much of a toll, tell those guys out there to stop jumping ditches. Issue ’em folding ramps. Integration with a pack system? Let the pack system guys crack that nut. These elements don’t HAVE to work together.

      SOF forces (sometimes) get armor and equipment that works for them because there is a more finite universe of capability (smart, highly conditioned guys doing stuff that smart, highly conditioned guys do), and a more finite universe of guys who (a) know who to call (b) WILL CALL when it looks like a dumb idea is taking hold.

      • Quigley says:

        “IOTV is what it is because of the casualty stats. Data collected on personnel injured while wearing armor is pretty comprehensive, to the point where the Surgeon presents a fairly persuasive analysis for the number and seriousness of casualties that comes with each square-inch reduction in coverage.”

        Thank you for making my point by further articulating what I said about “Requirements”. However, I am also correct that assuming risk by reducing established area of coverage for more mobility in regards to a general issue body armor system is not something that would be entertained by those responsible.

        Bottom line, while anyone who raises their right hand to join their respective gun club does so (or should) “fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession” there are those elements who will call for heads to roll if it appears that those responsible valued something like “Mobility” over protection and it resulted in a casualty.

        “And if jumping ditches takes too much of a toll, tell those guys out there to stop jumping ditches. Issue ’em folding ramps.”

        I don’t really understand where you’re going with this. Maybe I’m missing the “Sarcasm Font”. But I don’t think issuing a ramp is a serious solution to the effects and weight of combat equipment has on operations. Equally ludicrous is requiring a combatant in the final 100 yards of the assault to be hampered by such minor terrain features and lose their combat momentum due to their fighting load.

        “Integration with a pack system? Let the pack system guys crack that nut. These elements don’t HAVE to work together”

        As with your aforementioned statement, maybe you were being sarcastic. However, armor has become as much a part of the combatants load as chow, water and ammo. Having a load carriage system that works with it should probably be considered and I would think that the “pack system guys” should be working with the “body armor system guys” or vice versa.

        “SOF forces (sometimes) get armor and equipment that works for them because there is a more finite universe of capability (smart, highly conditioned guys doing stuff that smart, highly conditioned guys do), and a more finite universe of guys who (a) know who to call (b) WILL CALL when it looks like a dumb idea is taking hold.”

        So, what you’re saying is that SOF guys are more involved and in tune with the specific wickets regarding the equipment they are issued and thus take it upon themselves to do something about it while conventional guy are more content to do nothing and whine about what they get? If the posts on here regarding the subject are a representation of the conventional forces, I’d say you’re spot on. However, I don’t feel that way. I DO believe that there are Soldiers who want input on what they are issued for the sole purpose of increasing their mobility and lethality. What counteracts that desire is a failure of their commanders to educate and support them as such actions are a competing interest to “Personal Time”. Unfortunately, it’s easier for a commander to say: “It’s issued and you’ll like it” than to wave the BS flag as a community and risk retribution.

        Like I said, ONE Sergeant First Class from the CONVENTIONAL side raised an issue that gained congressional attention.

        In the end, it’s all a non issue for me as I’m fortunate enough to be equipped with other systems and don’t have to wear the SPCS or IOTV. However, If I WAS to receive a piece of gear that I felt detracted from the FULL gambit of my specific mission sets, you can bet that I would be finding out WHO to address it to and would REQUIRE that others under my direct influence who felt the same did so also.

        • straps says:

          Intent was to agree with the points you raised with–yes–some sarcasm, directed at the circumstances and the people who inflict them.

          Injury stats (malleable data twerked by someone who had to seem credible to receive a PhD) set against making dudes agile enough NOT to get hit by SAF–dodging bullets (literally) is anecdotal at best. So what it’s coming down to is “What’s the most ceramic and kelvlar we can wrap a kid in and have him be able to move AT ALL on a battlefield?”

          The USGI MOLLE Ruck or the “Medium” Ruck reflect barely any thought to use with armor. ZERO influence by Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, ArchAngel, Crye or ANYONE who’s been doing good design to address that requirement. That can has been kicked down the road for over a decade now. Inexcusable.

          Ditch ramps. Yeah that was sarcasm born of the inclination to burden a troop with a piece of equipment because the equipment he’s been directed to carry weighs too much.

          Far as speaking up, I’ve BEEN “that E-7.” Couple times it worked out OK–to the extent I was surprised to be speaking to people in 202, 703 or 910 area codes who asked me to stop calling them “Sir.” One time? Not so much. Drummed out of a 2-star command (and effectively my career path)–over a written AAR comment. I landed better than was expected so I still get to be that burr under that saddle once and again, but the fact remains that the guys who use the gear are only worth about $400K or so, but we’re here chiming in on a $35M contract for 11 months of work.

          Oh, and I don’t wear IOTV either, in favor of a more widely preferred BAE product called the RBAV-SF…

  18. Aaron says:

    The Marine Corps Commandant…yeah that guy decided for mobility over protection which is where they got the Scalable Plate Carrier and now Marine Corps Plate Carrier which is pretty much the same thing but a little different. The Marine Corps Commandant had the foresight to go…mobility over protection but the guys at PEO with a gajillion bucks to play geardo can’t seem to figure out that mobility matters.

    • straps says:

      Oh how quickly people forget.

      The SPC rose from the ashes of the MTV debacle.

      Not trying to spur interservice poo-throwing, just illustrate that things are indeed tough all over.

      I’ll trust PEO with that gajillion bucks, but they need to add a few seats at the table for folks that know what’s being carried out there, and how it’s being used…

      • Aaron says:

        I’m no Marine…I’m just trying to illustrate a point.

      • Quigley says:

        Ummm “Straps” in regards to your comment; “The SPC rose from the ashes of the MTV debacle.”

        I’d recommend that you do some fact checking before you make offhanded and uninformed statements.

        Coupled with your previous statements, you’d benefit from heeding the old saying: “it better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”

        Just saying.

        • straps says:

          Wow. Just wow. I was in theater (shutting down Iraq and spinning up Afghanistan) and chiming in on the plate carrier/full-coverage discussion on the Army side that paralleled the Marines’ deliberation. But for your edification, here’s fairly reliably-sourced history you claim I have no command of:



          You chose to come after me on an MTV/SPC thread so that’s what I’m linking.

          • Quigley says:

            Straps, remember that whole saying about trying to avoid “removing all doubt”? mmmmm yeah, I guess that one went over your head. Here’s another gem: “No news in the truth and no truth in the news”. If you would’ve been a diligent lad you would’ve cited something other than a civilian run rag (Yes, the Military Times is a CIVILIAN publication). But let me help you out sport:


            As you will clearly see, this is the “Official USMC” info paper on all things nylon and such. 

            Now, if you’ll direct your attention to page 7, you will see that it covers the SPC. 

            Now, I know theres some big words in there, but if you sound them out, you’ll see that the REQUIRMENT for the SPC originated from  III MEF for the implicit purpose of providing “a direct threat capability that would allow greater mobility, with reduced thermal stress in HIGH ELEVATIONS, THICK VEGETATION and TROPICAL ENVIRONMENTS than that provided by the issue OTV/MTV.” 

            So, you’re “assumption” that the “SPC rose from the ashes of the MTV debacle” is incorrect.  If you would’ve fact checked you would have seen that it wasn’t an “MTV thing” it was an “operational environment thing” that not only the MTV but OTV were deficient in. And amazingly, if you switch out a couple of words, it sounds just like the justification for the MBAV. 

            Reading, it’s what separates the professionals from the arm chair bloggers. 

          • Quigley says:

            Oh, and Straps, if you think you’re going to bolster your “Internet Tough Guy” persona with statements like; “I was in theater (shutting down Iraq and spinning up Afghanistan)” you completely confirm your “Tool Bag” status.

            Here’s a hint scooter

            Some of us spun UP Afghanistan PRIOR to spinning UP Iraq and don’t have the luxury such as that afforded to people like you who are getting to enjoy the “shutting down”