Deployment of the World’s First Fully Automated Body Armor Inspection System

In the Fall of 2003 the Radiographic Laboratory at the US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center was approached by elements of Program Executive Office Soldier with inquiry into the feasibility and practicality of using x-ray inspection to non-destructively inspect Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) ceramic plates. Five years later, in the Fall of 2008, the US Army deployed the World’s first fully automated body armor inspection system, the Non-Destructive Test Equipment (NDTE) system, in Kuwait. The NDTE has been up and fully operational since that time. What follows is the story of its conception, development, testing and fielding.

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