Friday, April 15, 2011

Ketchum company awarded $6 million military contract


The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a $6 million contract to Ketchum company Eye Safety Systems to supply prescription-lens carrier kits to the military.

This is the largest volume-contract the company has held to date. The contract includes an initial one-year contract with four one-year option periods, which would increase the award amount to $13.5 million. The carriers are integrated with protective eyewear, set between the protective lens and the user.

With 30 full-time employees in Ketchum and 100 in California, ESS is the only approved ballistic eyewear for the Marine Corps and one of six companies whose products are authorized for combat use within the Army. According to a press release from the company, it is the largest supplier of military ballistic eyewear in the world.

"The optical prescription-lens carrier kits are available to all branches of our military worldwide," said Mike Vigueria, the company's government contracts director. "We are extremely grateful for our troops and proud to support them day in and day out."

ESS also designs, manufactures and sells eye protection systems for law enforcement, fire/rescue and motorsport professionals in the United States and in more than 100 other countries.

The French National Police entered into their first contract with ESS in October, ordering 30,000 "Ice" eyeshields to be used for riot control. ESS beat eight competitors for the contract after its eyeshields underwent laboratory tests and sustained multiple close-range shotgun blasts without lens penetration.

"Eye protection is as essential to law enforcement as it is to the military," said Connor Duncan, ESS' vice president of international sales.

ESS started in 1998 as a provider of protective eyewear for firefighters and is now a subsidiary of Oakley Inc.

Trevon Milliard: tmilliard@mtexpress.com




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