National

Oct 16, 2009 12:52 PM by Associated Press

Investigators find flaws in Army body armor tests

Congressional investigators say the Army made critical mistakes in tests of a new body armor design. They're recommending an independent review of the results before the gear is issued to troops in combat.

Testing of a new plate to block armor-piercing bullets was conducted last year at an Army testing center in Aberdeen, Md. Companies that passed the tests were awarded contracts potentially worth $8 billion.

In an audit to be released Friday, the Government Accountability Office found the Army deviated from established testing standards. The GAO says several of the designs that passed would have failed had the tests been done properly.

In a lengthy response to the audit, Pentagon officials acknowledge there were minor testing problems but say they stand by the results.

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