Because this kind of thing is pretty common, so I wasn't surprised. The military gets crappy equipment because of their contract requirements.
No... TFA is quite clear that the manufacturer was in violation of the contract requirements.
By saying it was a "no-bid" contract implies that someone got the bid because of self promotion or being friends of someone high up (which I would guess is what Unbreakable was aiming at).
Or just that the "fiscal conservatives" aren't the model of fiscal responsibility they keep chanting they are. And, you know, never have been to begin with.
This more than likely wasn't the case, they got the contract for being a small business owned by Native Americans. The government wastes money and gets bad contracts all the time which would never fly in the business world.
So I say it was a no-bid, which isn't substantiated.... and your rebuttal is to say it's not, it's that damn libr00l minority-owned business manipulation, which isn't substantiated either.
Which is all neither here nor there, since the crux of the problem is that they had a contract to supply AT THE MINIMUM a 35x35 thread per square inch weave, and instead were supplying, at the most, a 35x34 weave, and most of the time it was much less, around a 32x34 weave:
At the core of the investigation was the contention by two former plant managers that Kevlar woven at Sioux failed to meet the government’s “critical” minimum standard of 35 by 35 threads a square inch.
When properly woven, Kevlar, a polymer thread made by Dupont, is stronger than steel, and able to deflect shrapnel and some bullets. Government regulations call for rejecting Kevlar below the 35-by-35 standard.
The company “was underweaving,” Mr. Wrigley said.
“That is undebatable,” he said.
The factory’s own inspection records often showed weaves of 34 by 34 threads or as low as 32 by 34 and 33 by 34. Looms were “always set for 34 by 34, always,” said Jeff Kenner, who operated and repaired the looms and oversaw crews on all three shifts.
And of course, the typical response straight out of the conservative handbook:
In a statement, the company president, Carl R. McKay, denied “any and all of the allegations originally brought to the attention of the Department of Justice by disgruntled ex-employees.”
Settling the case, United States v. Spirit Lake Tribe, filed in Federal District Court in Fargo, Mr. McKay said, was “a prudent business decision” to avoid legal costs and “should not be construed as an admission of wrongdoing.”
Disgruntled ex-employee, axe to grind, mistakes were made, lessons were learned, etc etc etc...
So it ends up being the typical corrupt corporate welfare state we get every time conservatives seize power. Was it a no-bid? Maybe, maybe not. Does it really matter? Not one iota.
The potential harm is difficult to judge. Helmet damage depends on the projectile. Whether a damaged helmet would hold up better with a tighter weave is hard to calculate, experts said.
“You must have a certain amount of protection, and you can’t go below that,” said Gwynedd A. Thomas, associate professor of ballistics and protective fabrics at Auburn University.
Although the difference between 34 and 35 threads a square inch seems modest, the cumulative loss in layers of fabric is significant, Dr. Thomas said.
“Every time that you’re losing some mass, you’re losing some integrity,” she said.
The strength comes from crossed yarns, the points that disperse projectile impact. “The fewer crossovers, the less energy dissipation you’re going to have,” she added.
A 34-by-34 weave results in 5 percent fewer crossovers than 35 by 35, a difference Dr. Thomas called “quite a lot.”
“I’m surprised somebody is not pursuing that more vigorously from the government,” she added. Were she a soldier’s parent, she said, “I would want to give my son a better helmet.”
The $2 million settlement is far short of what the two former managers, Mr. Kenner and Tamra Elshaug, hoped for in 2006 when they filed a whistle-blower suit. The suit, for $159 million in damages, accused the company of defrauding the government and violating safety standards.
“I think they got away with it,” said Mr. Kenner, who worked at Sioux for 20 years and was the weaving supervisor. “Sioux Manufacturing basically got a slap on the wrist,” he said. “The Justice Department did a really good job, but the Department of Defense is really just downplaying this. They’re embarrassed and want it to go away and would not admit to anybody’s getting hurt or even killed.”
Mr. Kenner and Ms. Elshaug’s lawyer, Andrew J. Campanelli, challenged Defense Department contentions that it was unaware of injuries from defective helmets. “There are tons of injuries with shrapnel and bullets going through helmets,” he said. “My clients documented that American soldiers did not get the protection that the government paid for, that the taxpayers paid for.”
Seems pretty damn clear cut to me. The contract said 35x35, and they didn't give 35x35.
I don't know what conservatives might call it, but in liberal-land we call that fraud.