DHB Industries Inc, the largest body armour supplier to the US military, yesterday said it has received a $100-million order from the Army for equipment destined for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The deal to supply protective vests forms the first part of a three-year production contract - and is said by DHB to be the largest single order in its history and the largest in the history of the soft body armour industry.

The Pentagon's order is to be filled by Point Blank Body Armor Inc, a DHB subsidiary based in Oakland Park, Fla.

Separately, the maker of bullet-resistant armour signed a four-year, renewable contract to provide soft body armours to the city of Baltimore.

This agreement, to which the financial terms weren't disclosed, also allows neighbouring cities and counties to purchase armour under the same contract.