Report: Humvee weaknesses known in '90s

Feb. 4, 2009 at 10:21 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- A newly released report concludes the Pentagon knew in the 1990s the Humvee did not have enough armor to protect its occupants against roadside bombs.

The report from the inspector general obtained by a government watchdog group says Army and Marine Corps officials were urging the development of more heavily armored vehicles in the immediate aftermath of the first Gulf War and the U.S. foray into Somalia.

USA Today said Wednesday officials described the lightly armored vehicle as a "deathtrap" even when retrofitted with a mine-resistant kit developed in the mid-1990s.

The report, which was posted on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, said the Humvee was considered vulnerable to roadside bombs due to its low clearance, flat bottom and light weight.

The Pentagon told USA Today the report was nothing new; however, defense analyst John Pike of globalsecutity.org told the newspaper dissecting the attributes of the Humvee was not a particular concern to planners in the 1990s who assumed future wars would be fast-moving blitzes rather than long, drawn-out campaigns.

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