3M may end body armor business after funding delays from the Army


Minnesota-based 3M is considering shuttering its body armor business after the U.S. Army delayed funding for a contract, reports note.

Finance & Commerce obtained a letter sent to Congress from a 3M official that said the company was preparing to wind down production of body armor and boron carbide chemicals that are used in armor for soldiers and armor plating for military vehicles after the Army diverted $80 million to other uses, including lighter-weight armorFinance & Commerce notes.

The letter also says that 3M has already had to cut 50 jobs at a Kentucky plant and 40 jobs at a California facility back in May after the Army diverted the money, which had been appropriated by Congress to the Army to "specifically sustain the industrial base for body armor," according to Congress.gov.

3M is also involved with the lighter-weight armor project, reports note, but the company said in the letter that without the money from the Army, it can't sustain its business this year.

3M Executive Vice President Michael Roman wrote in the letter:

“We are drafting plans to exit the body armor business as there is no other customer for such highly engineered body armor. We are making difficult decisions that could have broad effects for other body armor companies which utilize 3M’s boron carbide powder for multiple aircraft/helicopter platforms.”

3M and BAE Systems are the two major makers for body armor for the military in the world, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal says.

The company has been in talks with the Army to resolve the issue, but the recent letter shows a sense of urgency from 3M, Finance & Commerce notes.

There is no word on how many more jobs could be lost if 3M goes through with shutting down the armor business or if any jobs at the Maplewood, Minnesota, headquarters will be affected.

3M laid off 93 workers from its Ceradyne plant in Kentucky back in 2013 when the Defense Department reduced funding for body armor, WBKO reported. Ninety workers were also laid off from the Ceradyne facility in California later that year, the Orange County Business Journal reported.

Next Up

moose minnesota usfws - flickr

MN homeowner mistakes large tent for dead moose

They spotted two people on a security camera dragging the "moose" across a driveway.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

What happens if Mpls. public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

The memo was sent to the mayor and council members Tuesday morning.


COVID-19 hits Minnesota Wild coaching staff

The Wild will be shorthanded for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver.

Anthony Edwards

Ant takes alpha role after bad loss: 'We need to lock the f*** in'

The Timberwolves' rising star was not happy after Monday's loss to the Pelicans.

parker eisinger

Lakeville football player diagnosed with cancer week before playoffs

The tenth-grader was diagnosed with a form of cancer most commonly found in people aged 65 and older.

University of Minnesota peeping tom suspect

Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

john Fluevog shoes 1

John Fluevog Shoes closes its Uptown Minneapolis store

The brand could return to the Twin Cities one day.

sidecar drink

Sidecar — Town Hall's new cocktail lounge — is officially open in Minneapolis

It's the fifth Town Hall location, but the first to focus on cocktails.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Here's where DFLers stand on Minneapolis' public safety ballot question

The question would create a Department of Public Safety and remove some requirements.

Arthur Kollie

Man pleads guilty to brutal murder of 14-year-old girl in Fargo

The 14-year-old girl was the victim of a random attack outside a Fargo strip mall.

Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates 2021 - jacob frey sheila nezhad kate knuth

Here's who has endorsed the frontrunners for Minneapolis mayor

Politicians and community groups are voicing their opinions.