WASHINGTON (AP) -- The military says U.S. troops won't be forced to wear improved body army until manufacturers cut the weight of the new protective plates.
The Army plans to buy 120,000 sets of advanced bullet-blocking plates this year.
Service officials told a congressional panel today that the initial purchase of the plates, known as "XSAPI," will be stocked in Kuwait. The plates will be available if commanders need them.
The quality of small numbers of the current plates, called "ESAPI," was questioned last week in an audit by the Defense Department inspector general's office.