The US military is recalling more than 18,000 bullet-resistant vests made by Point Blank Body Armor, following a previous recall of 5,000 vests made by the company in May.

The latest recall is said to partly involve vests used by troops in the recent Iraq war. The recalled items were produced before 1999 and 2001.

According to The Army and Marine Corps, which ordered the recall, the vests failed to meet ballistic specifications but had never put the military at risk as they met the minimum requirements for threat they were designed for.

The problem was identified in September during a test of outer tactical vests brought back from Iraq. The vests contain Kevlar, which is designed to be resistant to bullets, inside an outer nylon shell.

Newer vests will replace those that failed safety tests, the military said.

Point Blank said in February it would replace 2,000 bullet-resistant vests made from Zylon after a class-action lawsuit said they didn't live up to their warranties.