New troop vehicles need more armor

WASHINGTON, May 31 (UPI) -- Powerful roadside bombs are capable of ripping into the latest U.S. military vehicles headed to Iraq.

USA Today reported that the Marine Corps has requested that additional armor be added to the new MRAPs, short for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles headed to the war zone.


Roadside bombs placed by Iraqi insurgents have been responsible for the majority of U.S. troop deaths in Iraq. Replacing the military's Humvees with MRAPs was intended to protect troops from the newest form of lethal roadside bomb, explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs.

"Ricocheting hull fragments, equipment debris and the penetrating slugs themselves shred vulnerable vehicle occupants who are in their path," said a document obtained obtained by USA Today. The document authors ask for 3,400 sets of additional armor for the MRAPs.

John Pike, of the Washington think tank Globalsecurity said he doubts additional armor will be completely effective.

"Short of victory, they're going to continue to figure out ways to kill Americans," he told USA Today.

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