Adapting MRAPs

By Marjorie Censer / October 20, 2009 at 5:00 AM

The Army -- incorporating soldier feedback -- has successfully adapted the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle to meet ever-changing theater requirements, Brig. Gen. Robert Brown, deputy commanding general for Multinational Division-North and the 25th Infantry Division, said today.

For instance, a "young soldier" came up with an MRAP modification intended to protect against RKG-3 anti-tank grenades, Brown said, speaking by teleconference at an Oct. 20 Pentagon briefing.

He described the change as "a screen that goes on the outside and causes the RKG-3 to bounce off it and become ineffective." According to Brown, the idea was sent back to the United States, where a counter-IED task force tested it.

"I think we've got about 40 of them right now on MRAPs," Brown said today. "And one attack we've had since then. Can't verify, but it was ineffective. And we think the screen had something to do with it."

Another example, Brown added during today's briefing, was a modification to a counter-sniper screen meant to protect gunners in MRAPs. Though the screen was effective, it "distracted ((the gunner)) from looking, having good observation and being able to stop somebody throwing an RKG-3. There were blind spots."

In response, soldiers devised a system using "a series of fiberglass poles" to allow them to see RKG-3 gunners but still have protection, Brown said.