Thursday, May 31, 2007

Report: MRAPs unable to withstand EFPs

Above: Aftermath of an EFP (explosively formed projectile) attack. First reported in use last year, the armor-piercing EFPs are significantly more lethal than conventional roadside bombs.

New military vehicles that are supposed to better protect troops from roadside explosions in Iraq aren't strong enough to withstand the latest type of bombs used by insurgents, according to Pentagon documents and military officials.

As a result, the vehicles need more armor added to them, according to a January Marine Corps document provided to USA TODAY. The Pentagon faced the same problem with its Humvees at the beginning of the war.

The military plans to spend as much as $25 billion for up to 22,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles by 2009. Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared that buying the new vehicles should be the Pentagon's top procurement priority.

But the armor on those vehicles cannot stop the newest bomb to emerge, known as an explosively formed penetrator (EFP). The Pentagon plans to replace virtually all Humvees with MRAPs to provide better protection against roadside bombs, responsible for most casualties in Iraq.

Read the rest at USA Today

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Source: Army to seek 17,700 MRAPs to replace Iraq Humvees by 2009

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