Here’s another fine American who’s been recommended for the Medal of Honor for his bravery in the Battle of Fallujah. The wounded man in the middle is Marine 1st Sergeant Brad Kasal. Remember his name, because before long he’s probably going to be mentioned in the same breath as Rafael Peralta.
How can we lose, with men like these?
StrategyPage.com reports another victory in the fight against stupid military procurement procedures:
Rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) are the typical weapons of choice when insurgents decide to attack trucks and armored vehicles. RPGs are cheap, simple to operate, and if used properly can inflict significant damage on Stryker and Bradley armored vehicles. Unarmed and armored Hummers are especially vulnerable, since the various armor kits for the Hummer are designed to protect occupants from small arms and machine gun fire, not anti-tank grenades.
One quick fix to protect the Hummer is a unique airbag system developed by a small California company that deploys a “curtain” down outside the side of the vehicle being attacked. Four bags are needed to protect all quadrants and are held in place with simple Velcro straps. A small radar detects the incoming RPG or RPGs and inflates the airbag with a carbon dioxide gas cartridge. The RPG is literally “caught” by the airbag like a pillow and slowed enough so the nose-mounted fuse doesn’t detonate the warhead. Instead, the RPG ends up collapsing upon itself, shredding the secondary self-destruct fuse and looking like a stomped-on beer can. Currently, the airbag and cartridge have to be replaced after one use, but the designers are working on a reusable airbag that can simply be rolled up and put back into place.
Cost for the system is expected to run between $5,000 to $7,000 dollars and weighs around 50 pounds. The Army is in the process of awarding a contract with the goal of getting systems to Iraq within 6 months, at a initial product rate of 25 systems per month. Other systems are being refined for use on canvass-topped vehicles and the Stryker.
That’s the spirit! Get this kind of innovation out to the troops and save some lives. Rock on.
Hat tip: Castle Argghhh!
The Questing Cat has a combat medic story that’ll bring the war in Iraq home to you. Thank God for Interceptor body armor. Check out this story on prototype armor too.
Hat tip: Mudville Gazette