In the last year, over 10,000
Objective Gunner Protection Kits (OGPK) have been delivered to Iraq and
Afghanistan. What makes the OGPK so special is that it gives turret gunners (in
hummers, MRAPs and trucks) all round protection, without sacrificing
visibility. This is done by using lots of bulletproof glass and rear-view
mirrors. Cheaper and lighter than the remote control turrets, the OGPK came
about when suggestions from the troops were picked up by U.S. Army equipment
developers, who designed and tested the system in less than a year back in
2005. Shipment began in 2006, and the new turret armor proved a big success.
turrets are designed to be easily installed by vehicle mechanics. With turret
gunners no longer so vulnerable to
snipers or explosions, morale and effectiveness are up. A battery powered motor
kit was also developed, to make it easier to rotate a turret equipped with the
OGPK. On the down side, all of this adds
over half a ton of weight to the vehicle, and changes the center of gravity.
With OGPK and other armor kits, hummers become so heavy that key mechanical
components increasingly break during rough driving. This means troops have to
be careful of how much weight they transport in a heavily armored hummer.