Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This is coolbert:

“there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!!”

From the January 2008 edition of Assembly magazine:

“Rollover accidents with Humvees are a common problem in Iraq and Afghanistan. The heavily loaded vehicles can be sent into a roll during evasive maneuvering, off-road travel, bomb blast and insurgent attacks . . . A quick means of escaping an overturned Humvee often means the difference between life and death. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to evacuate an overturned Humvee. When fully armored, the vehicle’s doors can weight as much as 800 pounds each, making them virtually impossible to open if the vehicle is upright”

Fear not however, a solution has been found.

“Ibis Tek LLC. . . . developed what it calls it’s Vehicle Emergency Escape [(VEE) window . . . On each side of the window is a pair of safety pins and handles which all a soldier to quickly push the window out of the way . . . a Humvee crew can escape in a minute or less.”

Those Humvees being used by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan must really be taking a bad beating. I bet the lot of them will just eventually be scrapped. NOT even returned to the U.S. Left in place, NOT salvable?

You may well recall the reaction to the threat from IED [improvised explosive device], EFP [explosively formed projectile], the general roadside bomb, all used by the Iraqi terrorists/guerrillas/insurgents. An immediate program, frenzied in nature, was put into effect. Retrofit the Humvees with an armor upgrade NEVER intended for such an all-purpose vehicle as the Humvee.

And such a retrofit program has been successful? Armor kits for all Humvees in the combat zone have been installed? Provide a modicum of protection for troops that did not exist before?

But there have been unintended consequences as well?

My initial intuitive reaction was that the wear and tear on the Humvees was just going to increase astronomically! That ADDITIONAL WEIGHT ARMOR UPGRADE KIT was going to have a catastrophic effect upon the engine, transmission, frame, tires, etc. Especially in such harsh and unforgiving terrain as Iraq, or Afghanistan for that matter!

All that weight, in addition, now contributes to a Humvee that is top-heavy and much more prone to rollovers?!

Well, this is just intuitive too, isn’t it? The Humvee was designed to be less susceptible to rollover than it’s predecessor, the world-famous Jeep. [the Jeep, for forty years the standard all-purpose military vehicle, was EXCEEDINGLY VULNERABLE TO ROLLOVERS, ESPECIALLY IN RUGGED TERRAIN!! Each armored door weighs 800 pounds? What did an unarmored door weigh? I can see the problem someone inside a rollover would face. Under enemy attack or if the Humvee was on fire - - well - - forget it!!

[a pair of armored doors is the same as having ten additional soldiers ride inside the Humvee ALL THE TIME??!!]

Armored doors provide a “modicum of protection” - - but - - are more likely to rollover - - and - - the troops inside cannot get out!!

“pay me now, or pay me later!!”




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