Monday, February 12, 2007

Report: Army crticially short in armor kits for Humvees for surge troops

Remnants of an unarmored Humvee struck by an I.E.D.

The Army is working to fill a shortfall in Iraq of thousands of advanced Humvee armor kits designed to reduce U.S. troop deaths from roadside bombs -- including a rising threat from particularly lethal weapons linked to Iran and known as "explosively formed penetrators" (EFP) -- that are now inflicting 70 percent of the American casualties in the country, according to U.S. military and civilian officials.

The additional protection is needed for thousands of U.S. reinforcement troops flowing into Baghdad, where these devastating weapons -- used primarily by Shiite fighters -- are particularly prevalent, the officials said.

U.S. Army units in Iraq and Afghanistan lack more than 4,000 of the latest Humvee armor kit, known as FRAG Kit 5, according to U.S. officials. The Army has ramped up production of the armor, giving priority to troops in Baghdad, but the upgrade is not scheduled to be completed until this summer, Army officials said.

Read the rest at the Washington Post

Related Link:
Chairman of Joint Chiefs: Not enough armored vehicles for surge troops

Related Link:
Perspective: Lack of equipment for surge troops may increase casualties