Armor: February 18, 2004

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In the Summer of 2003, it was thought that 235 armored hummers (the M1114 and similar versions) would suffice for the American troops in Iraq. Then the roadside bombs and ambushes continued, and experience showed that it was more effective to use hummers for patrols, rather than M-2 Bradley tracked vehicles. By October, there was a demand for 3,000 armored hummers. Currently, the army wants 7,000 armored hummers. Most of these will be obtained by adding armor to existing hummers. Some 6,300 armor kits have been delivered or are on order. Another 2,100 kits are going to be purchased after the current ones have all been installed. The add-on armor is light weight composite, similar to the bullet proof plates in the bullet-proof Interceptor protective vests. The kits include bullet and blast proof glass for the windshield. These armor kits do not provide the same protection as factory installed armor as found on the M1114 version of the hummer, but it's close. One problem with the weight of the armor kits puts too much strain on the engine or suspension system of older hummers. This leads to maintenance and reliability problems. The kits will probably not be removed after the Iraq campaign is over, and will cost millions of dollars in additional fuel and maintenance costs over the life of the vehicles. It costs over $10,000 to add armor protection to a hummer.

 


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