Malden Mills wins new military deal

Malden Mills, which last year faced bankruptcy in the wake of a devastating fire, has been granted a major military contract for the continued development of protective clothing.

Malden Mills, based in Lawrence, Mass., with a plant in Hudson, N.H., is the developer of Polartec fabric. The firm will receive more than $15 million to continue research and development into a variety of all-weather clothing for U.S. military personnel. A portion of the money included in the 2006 defense spending bill — $1.1 million — is to be earmarked for a third year of research and development into electronic textiles for the Army’s combat Casualty Care program. The new technology will enable the remote physiological monitoring of soldiers in combat.

The continuation of three Polartec programs also will be made possible through the 2006 funding. The programs include the Army Extended Cold Weather Clothing System, which is lighter and less bulky and able to provide increased protection and comfort between +40 and -60 degrees Fahrenheit and enhance mobility; the Marine Corps Mountain Cold Weather Clothing and Equipment program, which includes an integrated clothing component that allows for a higher warmth-to-weight ratio, antimicrobial performance and wind and water resistance.

The final program, the Navy Air Warfare Center’s Multi-Climate Protection System combines technology from Malden Mills, Dupont and Peckham Vocational Industries to create a garment with better thermal protection, flame protection and reduced thermal burden.

“Warfighers want and need only the best gear available,” said Malden Mills CEO Michael Spillane. “Our continued relationship with the U.S. military is a testament to the quality of our products and our research capabilities.”

The use of Polartec fabrics by the U.S. military is nothing new. All branches have used the lightweight fabric extensively and continue to benefit from technological advancements being put forth by the research and development teams of Malden Mills. And the company continues to benefit from the ongoing support of state officials.

“Malden Mills has developed a strong reputation thanks to the quality of their products, which has been recognized by Congress and the Department of Defense,” said U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg. – TRACIE STONE

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