Soldier Protection System (SPS)
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Updated: 2022


The Soldier Protection System (SPS) is the Army’s next-generation Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) system. SPS is a modular, scalable, tailorable system designed to defeat current threats at a reduced weight in comparison to the Army’s existing PPE. SPS is based on the parallel development of four subsystems.

The Vital Torso Protection (VTP) variants include lighter weight Enhanced Small Arm Protective Inserts/Enhanced Side Ballistic Inserts (ESAPI/ESBI), as well as the X Threat Small Arms Protective Inserts (XSAPI) and X Threat Side Ballistic Inserts (XSBI) for deployers.

The Torso and Extremity Protection (TEP) is further comprised of multiple components, including the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV), the Ballistic Combat Shirt (BCS), and the Blast Pelvic Protector (BPP).

The Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) will include a 5% lighter weight helmet system composed of a helmet with increased blunt impact performance, maxillofacial protection, and passive hearing protection.

The Rapid Light Adaptive Eyewear (RLAE) will include ballistic protective eyewear capable of transitioning from light to dark and dark to light in less than one second and will also provide a 10% increase in fragmentation protection. RLAE enables Soldiers in a combat environment to move rapidly in varying light conditions.


The SPS program increases the Warfighter’s lethality, mobility, and modularity by optimizing Soldier protection, while effectively reducing weight by incorporating the latest technologies and managing all life cycle aspects of personal protective equipment. SPS replaces the capability of multiple current systems to provide the Soldier with an overall 10% weight reduction. SPS provides the Soldier with scalable levels of ballistic protection tailorable to a broad range of missions. This modular, scalable approach increases Soldier survivability and mobility, and contributes to increased force protection.


VTP achieves up to 20% weight reduction over the current ESAPI and XSAPI plates. Additional sizes are being introduced to accommodate small-statured and female Soldiers and in a shooter’s cut design that provides greater range of motion for the Soldier.

TEP achieves up to 19% weight reduction over the current soft armor vest/plate carrier.  Additional sizes are included to accommodate small-statured and female Soldiers.

IHPS provides Soldiers ballistic protection and the Next Generation IHPS (NG IHPS) provides Soldiers greater ballistic protection, at the same weight as IHPS. IHPS components include Modular Helmet, Visor, Mandible, Helmet Cover, and Retention System.


  • 2QFY18: IHPS Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) first lot delivery
  • 4QFY18:
    • TEP MSV Justification and Approval (J&A)
    • TEP BPP J&A
  • 1QFY19: NG IHPS Full Rate Production (FRP) Decision
  • 3QFY20: NG IHPS J&A Request for Proposal
  • 4QFY20: NG IHPS J&A Contract Award TEP improved outer tactical vest repurposing
  • 1QFY20:
    • ESBI Delivery Order Award
    • NG IHPS FRP Contract Award
    • NG IHPS FRP Production Readiness Review
  • 2QFY20:
    • ESBI Delivery Order Award
    • XSBI Production Award
  • 3QFY20:
    • NG IHPS FRP First Article Test complete
    • ESBI Production Award
    • ESAPI First Article Testing
    • XSAPI First Article Testing
  • 4QFY20:
    • TEP MSV Follow-on Production Award
    • NG IHPS


  • 1QFY21: Award VTP plate Delivery Orders
  • 2QFY21:
    • NG IHPS FRP lot deliveries start
    • Award VTP plate Delivery Orders
    • TEP BCS Follow-on Production Award
    • NG IHPS FRP Solicitation
    • NG IHPS J&A First Article Test Approval
  • 3QFY21:
    • Award VTP plate Delivery Orders
    • TEP BPP Follow-on Production Award
  • 4QFY21: NG IHPS Production
  • 1QFY22: NG IHPS FRP Contract Award
  • 3QFY22: NG IHPS FRP First Article Test complete
  • 4QFY22: NG IHPS FRP lot deliveries start

ACAT Category


Acquisition Lifecycle Phase

Engineering & Manufacturing Development


Engineering and Manufacturing Development:

IHPS: Ceradyne, Inc. (Costa Mesa, CA)
NG IHPS: Ceradyne, Inc. (Costa Mesa, CA); Gentex Corp. (Carbondale, PA); Galvion (Newport, VT)
RLAE: AlphaMicron (Kent, OH)

Low Rate Initial Production:

VTP: Leading Technology Composites Inc. (Wichita, KS); TenCate Advanced Armor USA Inc. (Hebron, OH); Ceradyne (Irvine, CA); Florida Armor LLC, (Miami Lakes, FL); Engense (Camarillo, CA)

Full Rate Production:

  • TEP:
    • MSV: Bethel Industries (Jersey City, NJ); KDH Defense Systems (Eden, NC)
    • BCS: Point Blank Protective Apparel and Uniforms (Pompano Beach, FL); Eagle Industries (Virginia Beach, VA)
    • BPP: Bethel Industries (Jersey City, NJ); KDH Defense Systems (Eden, NC)