If diamond are a girl's best friend, then pearls may soon be a soldier's — sort of.

An Army-funded research project has produced a lightweight plastic compound that's both stronger and lighter than steel by "mimicking" the outer coating of peals known as nacre (or mother of pearl), the Army Research Lab announced on Tuesday.

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(U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. True Thao)

Army researchers have devised a method to produce ceramic body armor, lightweight but strong, from a 3D printer. Except that 3D printers are meant to print out knickknacks, not flak jackets — which meant that engineers had to hack into the printer to get the job done.

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(Tactical Products Group photo)

The owner and a top executive of a Boynton Beach-based security products firm have both been sentenced to less than a year in prison after being convicted of charges of selling sub-par body armor to the U.S. government.

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(U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Robert Alejandre)

Just two years after the Marine Corps dropped $51 million to issue every single grunt a new lightweight combat helmet, the service is eyeing yet another newer, lighter combat helmet.

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The Ops-Core helmet (Gentex Corporation photo)

The U.S. military's most elite war fighters are getting some new headgear.

U.S. Special Operations Command awarded a $95 million, five-year contract to the Gentex Corporation to furnish American commandos with both ballistic and non-ballistic versions of its Ops-Core helmet.

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The Integrated Head Protection System (U.S. Army photo)

After years in development, the Army will field its brand new body armor, combat helmet, and protective gear to soldiers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne division later this month, officials told multiple media outlets on Monday.

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