Thursday, March 15, 2007

Perspective: Blast-Resistant Trucks Head to Iraq, Slowly

The first Cougars were shipped in late 2004 to Marine engineers in Fallujah. Since then, only a few hundred have been added to a force of over 40,000 armored vechicles in Iraq. No one has been killed in an IED blast while riding in a Cougar.

In Ladson, S.C., the military industrial machine is in overdrive as hundreds of welders and steelworkers labor at a white-hot pace to deliver better armor to U.S. troops in Iraq.

There is huge demand for blast-resistant vehicles that protect troops from improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and the craftsmen at the Ladson-based company Force Protection are working to hard to deliver.

"We are seeing commanders on the ground saying, 'We know what works. Get it to us,'" said Mike Aldrich, vice president of Force Protection, which manufactures blast- and mine-protected armored vehicles.

Read the rest at ABC News