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Military equipment suffers in Iraqi heat

Dec. 5, 2003 at 11:40 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. military officials are battling to keep equipment functioning in Iraq and Afghanistan as heat and fine sand wears it down prematurely.

Gen. Richard Cody, the army's deputy chief of staff for operations, said his service requires additional armored Humvees as well as ceramic-enhanced body armor. He added the army needs repair or replacement of some 250,000 pieces of equipment, including aviation systems, communications and electronics systems, tracked and wheeled vehicles and missile systems.

One example was the operation of the CH-53E, or the Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter, World Tribune.com said. Officials said the helicopter, deployed by the Marine Corps, was found to have contained an average of 150 pounds of fine sand throughout the aircraft.

The Defense Department has been awarding contracts to a range of companies for the supply of spare parts. Parker Aerospace, based in Irvine, Calif., was awarded an $11.1 million contract for delivery of parts for the AH-64A Apache attack helicopter, the UH-60 Black Hawk, the CH-47 Chinook and the OH-58 Kiowa helicopters.

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