Kevlar or plastic? New armor lighter, provides same protection

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April 6, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: April 6 on

Lightweight plastic body armor will replace Kevlar-based protective equipment used by U.S. troops in 2019.

The new Torso and Extremities Protection system, which has been undergoing field testing at bases across the U.S., weighs about 23 pounds — 25 percent lighter than gear worn today, said Lt. Col. Kathy Brown, a program manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment at Program Executive Office Soldier.

“We are looking at further developing the system,” she said. “We think we can lose more weight.”

It”s unclear exactly how much the new gear will cost, however Brown said it will be cheaper than the current equipment and offer the same level of protection.