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TPI Composites General Manager Kevin Weldi poses with the new Humvee  (Source: Associated Press)
New composite Humvees shed 900 pounds of weight

Humvees are synonymous with transporting troops on the ground during times of war. The ubiquitous workhorses are also pretty lacking when it comes to protection from enemy fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The U.S. Army in conjunction with AM General Corp. and TPI Composites Inc. are looking to composite materials to give its soldiers a better chance at surviving treacherous working conditions on Iraq.

Its latest test bed is a Humvee that features a frame and body made of composite materials. Resin material is used to bond together balsa wood, carbon reinforcements, fiberglass and foam. The use of composite materials on the Humvee shaves 900 pounds off the usual 10,000 to 12,000 pound vehicle weight.

"We can put the strength where we need it," said TPI Composites CEO Steven Lockard. "Every pound of weight we save, that weight is being added back to the vehicle in armor and mine-blast protection."

Additional armor could be placed under and around the cabin area of the Humvee to protect the passengers, while the composites materials alone could be used for the hood and fenders.

Predictably, the new composite-bodied Humvees are slightly more expensive than their conventional counterparts and the Army still hasn't made a firm commitment to purchasing the vehicles.

With that said, TPI Composites is fully prepared should the Army give the company the green light. "We could ramp up pretty quickly to most any volume that would be desired," said Lockard.

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By DeepBlue1975 on 9/21/2007 9:02:06 AM , Rating: 4
That all these new light weight and high resistance materials being researched, can make their way into the street cars market.

I'm tired of having to buy always a new car that is inevitably heavier while featuring almost the same size than the previous generation ones.

A compact or mid sized european / japanese car from the 1995-2000 era weighted roughly the same as what now weights a small or mini car from the same brand, which I find really annoying.

By sdifox on 9/21/2007 9:56:15 AM , Rating: 5
As is the case with the Humvee and IEDs, composites don't add much strength when it comes to crash protection. Therefore you're going to want to have quite a bit of steel still in your car in order to maintain safety.

Huh? You mean those F1 drivers crashing their carbon fibre cars into the wall and walk away is a miracle?

By TomZ on 9/21/2007 10:06:43 AM , Rating: 1
No miracle there - but there is obviously a strong focus on safety. In a way it's kind of a controlled environment.

By abhaxus on 9/21/2007 1:37:13 PM , Rating: 3
So Robert Kubica hitting the wall in Montreal going 190mph and decelerating at almost 50G was a controlled environment? :)

By hrah20 on 9/21/2007 3:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
Let's keep the eye on the ball here, anything that helps soldiers to survive a mine,bomb or rpg is great I'm just hoping here that it doesn't take too long for the army to approve this, yesterday on HBO I was watching a documentary called : (ALIVE DAY MEMORIES: HOME FROM IRAK)they were showing the soldiers injuries, what they went through, and the videos from the insugents related to each soldier, the videos of the explosions where disturbing to say the least, and they show you the magnitude of those explosions, IF there is something to help them survive and have a better chance of getting out alive, I say it's GREAT !!!.

By FITCamaro on 9/21/2007 10:38:15 AM , Rating: 4
These humvees aren't being made out of straight carbon fiber either. They're using fiberglass, balsa wood, carbon reinforcements (probably some carbon fiber), and foam. So don't compare them to a high performance race car who's chassis costs more than one of these Humvees.

And yes, carbon fiber can be very brittle. Even NASA has raised this concern. And those drivers are surviving because they're all but bolted to their seats and are surrounded by a roll cage. Drag cars have all steel roll cages and are going 100+ mph faster than F1 cars and their drivers survive just fine without any carbon fiber.

By sdifox on 9/21/2007 12:05:06 PM , Rating: 3
These humvees aren't being made out of straight carbon fiber either. They're using fiberglass, balsa wood, carbon reinforcements (probably some carbon fiber), and foam. So don't compare them to a high performance race car who's chassis costs more than one of these Humvees.

But what we are talking about here is just replacing the body panels more than anything else with the composite material. The weight saving then gets moved to more armour. Sounds good to me.

By 91TTZ on 9/21/2007 1:05:23 PM , Rating: 3
And yes, carbon fiber can be very brittle. Even NASA has raised this concern.

NASA raised the brittleness issue with the reinforced carbon-carbon leading edges of the Shuttle wings. This is a different material than carbon fiber. They both have carbon fibers, but the bonding material is different.

By DEVGRU on 9/21/2007 11:53:31 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and each one of those F1 cars cost millions - with hundreds of millions spent in R&D, testing, and manufacturing. And the (amazing) protection carbon fiber does provide an F1 car is (99%) engineered to perform in the lateral plain (front, side, rear).

Costs aside, (I know that wasn't your point per sa) carbon fiber (and its close cousin Kevlar) aren't known for its anti-ballistic, kinetic, or thermal resistance as far as stopping 1-2000 lbs. of C4, HMX, RDX, or Semtex explosives in a shaped charge directly beneath a vehicle, be it a Hummer or flipping a 60-ton M1 Abrams onto its back like a turtle.

By sdifox on 9/21/2007 12:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
by DEVGRU on September 21, 2007 at 11:53 AM

Yeah, and each one of those F1 cars cost millions - with hundreds of millions spent in R&D, testing, and manufacturing. And the (amazing) protection carbon fiber does provide an F1 car is (99%) engineered to perform in the lateral plain (front, side, rear).

Costs aside, (I know that wasn't your point per sa) carbon fiber (and its close cousin Kevlar) aren't known for its anti-ballistic, kinetic, or thermal resistance as far as stopping 1-2000 lbs. of C4, HMX, RDX, or Semtex explosives in a shaped charge directly beneath a vehicle, be it a Hummer or flipping a 60-ton M1 Abrams onto its back like a turtle.

But they are not talking about replacing armour with composite, just the skin. At least that is what I read.

By sdifox on 9/21/2007 12:10:41 PM , Rating: 2
I meant to say structural and skin, but adding more armour with the weight saved.

By afkrotch on 9/21/2007 7:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? You mean those F1 drivers crashing their carbon fibre cars into the wall and walk away is a miracle?

If you haven't noticed, the cars also feature large open areas, allowing for a natural crumple zone within them. Also the cars use many types of materials. Aluminium, titanium, magnesium, and of course, carbon fibre. For the most part, the frame and body panels are created using a layering of carbon fibre. Course none of this has anything to do with hummers, as creating this layering of carbon fibre is really expensive.

I don't expect the military to pay $1 mil per hummer.

By DeepBlue1975 on 9/21/2007 10:23:39 AM , Rating: 3
Not necessarily true:

For example, by these days its very usual that car designers make the front of the car more flexible as to be able to absorb impact energy, but reinforce the part where people are to make it as little deformable as possible.

As someone replied you, there are materials out there which are lighter than steel but yet more resistant, like carbon fibre, so that steel shouldn't be a mandatory part (were it not for the low cost of steel versus better materials).

Not always a harder frame means higher crash protection (well, it might be better for the vehicle to be less deformable, but it is not for the passengers that, then, will have to stand most of the impact's energy transferred directly to their bodies instead of having the body of the car absorb that as much as possible).

At least I'd rather get a car that gets destroyed in a crash but keeps me alive, instead of one that gets little damage but also gives me little probability of surviving :D

By Amiga500 on 9/21/2007 11:12:35 AM , Rating: 3
Carbon Fibre is excellent for crash protection - I don't what gave your the impression of anything otherwise.

While they can be brittle, and extremely weak 'out of plane' - by cross weaving during lay-up you will get an extremely strong and flexible (if needs be) component. The amount of energy CF can absorb is tremendous - and that is the critical thing in crashes, absorbing energy.

By FITCamaro on 9/21/2007 9:09:05 AM , Rating: 2
Thats because of all the safety equipment and electronics for said safety equipment. Instead of people learning how to drive, we just cram our cars full of airbags, anti-roll technology, etc.

There was a lot fewer accidents and deaths in the days when cars were made of steel and all you had was a seat belt (if you had one).

I vote for going back to said cars. Then people might actually be afraid of getting in an accident again for a reason other than their insurance rates going up.

By TomZ on 9/21/2007 9:23:10 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with everything, except for the part that there were fewer accidents "when cars were made of steel." The statistics don't seem to support your conclusion.

By Shoal07 on 9/21/2007 9:24:14 AM , Rating: 2
Speed limits were also signifigantly lower across the board, which is directly attributable to lower death per accident ratios back then. Do you also want to drive 35mph everywhere? There's little anything can do to save you once you start getting over 55mph... especially 75mph+ - hit a tree at those speeds and all the steel in the world will still crumple like a can (with you in the middle).

By Egglick on 9/21/2007 10:06:47 AM , Rating: 2
Studies have shown that lowering the speed limit doesn't positively impact accident rates. I also highly doubt that the material of a vehicles body has any effect on whether you crash said vehicle.

I think higher accident rates are mainly the result of significantly more cars and people on the road.

By CascadingDarkness on 9/21/2007 1:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
I think higher accident rates are mainly the result of significantly more cars and people on the road.

This statement is totally opposite.

The word rate would imply a scale or percentage. I would expect the number of accidents to increase with amount of cars. While the rate (percentage), of say, accidents per thousand, decreases with safety improvements increase.

By Egglick on 9/22/2007 12:15:59 AM , Rating: 3
When you reach a point where there is overcrowding, traffic jams, and roads which weren't built to handle this amount of increased traffic, the rate will go up as well as the number .

By acer905 on 9/21/2007 10:09:17 AM , Rating: 2
Ahh yes, back to the trees again. I propose 2 situations for the masses to chose between. A) get rid of all trees within 100' of all roads. or B) along every road make a wall lined with very very soft cushioning foam so that the cars simply come to a gentle stop.

By FITCamaro on 9/21/2007 10:30:01 AM , Rating: 2
The point is that people feel too safe these days in cars. No one is afraid of getting in accidents because the idea is that all this modern safety equipment will protect you. I want all that taken away and people to actually respect the road again. If you're in a metal can without airbags, ABS, anti-roll, traction control, etc. you're going to drive better since theres actual fear that you could get hurt. Say what you want about fear but its a strong motivator to do the right thing, regardless of the situation.

Modern technology has taken away a lot of the feel of the road that used to be there. You don't know when you're starting to push your car too hard anymore since the electronics tries to cover it up and handle it itself. Then by the time the computer realizes it can't handle it, you're spinning or sliding out of control.

I'm not saying technology shouldn't be used to save lives, but we've taken safety systems to where its more important to have the safety system than it is to just be a good driver and not need it. The only fear most people have of accidents any more is that their premiums will go up and they might have to wait a few weeks for their car to get fixed.

By chsh1ca on 9/21/2007 10:56:22 AM , Rating: 4
The only problem with that is that not everyone is going to be a good driver. My best day of driving may be better or worse than another person's best day of driving, and ultimately given the rather enormous unknown that is how other people are acting around you I think it's far better to have the safety equipment. You can only really trust yourself.

An friend who is also a Police instructor used to say:
Aggressive drivers don't cause accidents.
Defensive drivers don't cause accidents.
Indecisive drivers cause accidents.

By TomZ on 9/21/2007 11:24:44 AM , Rating: 4 that I would add: Distracted drivers cause accidents.

By DeepBlue1975 on 9/21/2007 11:56:42 AM , Rating: 2
You've got a very valid point there.

Many people think that safety systems are miraculous and will save you always. The obvious problem is that, err... well, they don't.

I wouldn't say the solution is to take away the safety devices, though.
I'd rather have them learn that those gizmos have limitations and that they don't make up for an excuse to drive recklessly "because the ABS+EBD+SPP+CPR+DOA+KIA will save the day".

Cruising at 100mph on a rainy or foggy day isn't advisable at all no matter what car you have, as it's always a bad idea to be driving only a handful of feet behind the car in front of you.

By TomZ on 9/21/2007 12:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
On the other hand, cars today are safer than they used to be, so the feeling is pretty justified. I also question the widely-held belief people are subsequently driving in more risky ways than in the past. Has anybody seen any studies on this?

By DeepBlue1975 on 9/21/2007 8:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
Of course they are WAY safer.
The rigid, non deformable chassis of old muscle cars is safer only for the car itself, but not so for he who travels in it that will end up absorbing most of an impact's energy in his body.

The same is normally applicable to many SUVs and pickups, as this comparison suggests:


In a thirty-five m.p.h. crash test, for instance, the driver of a Cadillac Escalade—the G.M. counterpart to the Lincoln Navigator—has a sixteen-per-cent chance of a life-threatening head injury, a twenty-per-cent chance of a life-threatening chest injury, and a thirty-five-per-cent chance of a leg injury. The same numbers in a Ford Windstar minivan—a vehicle engineered from the ground up, as opposed to simply being bolted onto a pickup-truck frame—are, respectively, two per cent, four per cent, and one per cent.

Right now I can't find a study on what you say, but rather lots of opinions.
IMHO, I think that people who like to push a car to its limits, with a new car will be tempted to drive much faster and push it harder in corners because it's less likely that he'll get "the wrong answer" from the car.
And going and cornering faster, what people are testing harder is not really the car, that can withstand the abuse with grace, but rather their own reflexes and speed of reaction, which is roughly the same as it always was.

Car safety and ease of handling technologies did improve dramatically, but normal people's reflexes, speed of reaction and training for critical situations did not.

Anyway, if I can find a study about the relationship between driving recklessness and "car safety feeling" I'll post it, as it could be an interesting read :D

By 91TTZ on 9/21/2007 1:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
Speed limits were not lower back then. They were higher. The 55 mph speed limit was instituted for fuel safety during the energy crisis of the mid 70's.

By 91TTZ on 9/21/2007 1:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
Make that "fuel savings", not "fuel safety".

By killerroach on 9/21/2007 10:20:38 AM , Rating: 1
You might want to look into something known as the "Peltzman Effect". Great stuff.

The Nobel Prize-winning economist James M. Buchanan once remarked that the best way to make cars safer is to force drivers to internalize the risk of driving their vehicle by having a sharp spike coming from the steering column pointed at the driver's chest.

In other words, it's not always the car, but how the person in the driver's seat acts.

By acer905 on 9/21/2007 10:05:38 AM , Rating: 2
... Stop buying new cars?

By Polynikes on 9/21/2007 12:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, the VW Golf GTI gained about 400 pounds between this generation and the last. That's ridiculous.

By BZDTemp on 9/21/2007 8:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
Lighter cars are coming. If you read about the Frankfurt Auto Show (The largest car show on the globe) you'll see there are a lot of focus on the environment and one of the result is lighter cars. The new Mazda 6 is lighter and stiffer than the current and the same goes for the Mazda 2 and that is a fact which as gotten very positive press so it will force others to follow. Still it's only the first step and Mazda is actually saving the weight using high strength steel rather than carbon fiber and so.

Also the crossover models are coming from many companies which is sort of like a 4x4/SUV/Sedan and lighter than the big 4x4s.

By FITCamaro on 9/21/07, Rating: 0
RE: Awesome
By rdeegvainl on 9/21/2007 9:01:04 AM , Rating: 2
Your right, cause there is no way to both support our troops and give them the equipment they need to survive and get a job done.

RE: Awesome
By TomZ on 9/21/2007 9:05:20 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure, but I would guess that Congress doesn't have this fine of control over the budget to not fund a specific item like this.

I also think it would be politically risky for the Democrats to not support improving Humvees since most Americans are well aware of the situation with IEDs.

RE: Awesome
By Shoal07 on 9/21/2007 9:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
You'd be wrong. Congressional oversight is very specific. You can't take funds from A to pay for B. Sometimes there are catch all funds that agencies can spend on anything, but anything on an order of magnitude as this would require congressional approval.

RE: Awesome
By Spivonious on 9/21/2007 9:26:17 AM , Rating: 5
I'd prefer not to go even further into debt than we currently are. Our economy stinks and borrowing even more money would just make it worse.

P.S. - I'm a Republican, which used to mean less federal spending.

RE: Awesome
By TomZ on 9/21/2007 10:24:01 AM , Rating: 2
How does government borrowing negatively affect our economy? Seems to me we've had large-scale government borrowing for many years now, and it has been steadily increasing during good times and bad. I don't see any kind of correlation between the two.

RE: Awesome
By sinful on 9/22/2007 1:58:50 PM , Rating: 2
Go look at the actual valuation of the dollar in comparison with other countries to see how it negatively affects our economy (or perhaps more importantly, negatively affects the consumer).

As we spend more and make less, the relative value of the dollar goes down.

So, consider that when you go to someplace like Mexico, one american dollar can buy you a lot of goods & services in Mexico. Now consider what happens if that suddenly the american dollar becomes worth less. All that cheap stuff made in Mexico is now comparatively expensive. As a result, Americans end up paying more money for the same stuf that used to be cheap.

This is a big deal when the vast majority of goods purchased in the US are made in foreign countries.

And when US corporations spend more money and get less overall, it has a major negative impact on our economy.

RE: Awesome
By Ringold on 9/21/2007 1:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
Republican's used to believe in the limited power of federal government more so than spending. While Reagan kept spending under control compared to the rest of the free world, which ramped up spending with abandon, he still sure didn't make any deep cuts in government spending as an example.

The economy, though, far from stinks. People's short-term and myopic view of the economy drives me insane -- have we already forgotten one of the longest, if not the longest, bull-market run in history? 60+ quarters of unbroken economic growth? And to top it all off, now that the economy has started to approach the obligatory down-tick in growth at the far end of the most recent business cycle, the fundamentals, ex-inflation, look fantastic. Even inflation is, this time, driven by factors we can't even control. Unemployment is also at very low levels. The economy is in great shape; a housing market that punishes speculators and outright fools does not make for a bad economy.

TomZ covered the debt thing pretty well, though. I'd add our level of deficit spending is rapidly decreasing, on course to (assuming no Democratic intervention) be balanced by 2012 or so, and is much lower than many other developed countries, such as certain European ones who also face and even more bleak fiscal future mid-century than we do. Surplus spending simply means the government has stolen more money from the people than is necessary -- and it's not likely to just give it back, either.

RE: Awesome
By sinful on 9/22/2007 1:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
Deficit spending decreasing? Are you joking??
That's so factually wrong it is amazing!

Deficit spending is when you have low taxes, and spend more money than what is coming in (via taxes).

Clinton, a democrat, had (relatively) high taxes, and relatively low spending. As a result, the deficit was being reduced.
Bush, a republican, lowered taxes, and got involved in the Iraq war, resulting in EXTREMELY high spending.

Indeed, deficit spending is currently at RECORD levels, and shows no sign of slowing down.

The only thing that would remotely bring this in to line is to end the $7Billion/MONTH war in Iraq and raise taxes.

The republicans want to do neither, and the democrats will (probably) try to do both.

Secondly, I don't know where you get this idea that European countries are worse off; Unlike the US, they have relatively high taxes and low spending, and don't have trillions of dollars in national debt.

Secondly, this 'surplus spending' thing you mention, I presume you meant 'surplus savings', because what you said doesn't make sense.
Finally, the situation of suprlus savings is so far out of reach that it won't be an issue anytime within our lifetime.
Our national debt is in the trillions of dollars, and the interest on that national debt is in the hundreds of billions per year.

In simple terms, it's like having a credit card with $10,000 in debt on it already, spending $1000/month on it, getting charged an interest fee of $1000/month, and then making a payment of $200.
The "break even" point, even if we had a surplus (which we don't), is decades away.

I believe when we actually had a RECORD budget SURPLUS (under Clinton), it was going to be like 30 years or so to pay it all down.
That was before Bush added a few trillion dollars to the national debt.

RE: Awesome
By OrSin on 9/21/07, Rating: 0
RE: Awesome
By TheGreek on 9/21/2007 10:51:41 AM , Rating: 3
You're confusing people with the facts.

Please continue.

RE: Awesome
By Ringold on 9/21/2007 1:11:02 PM , Rating: 1
You say not to make it political, and then blame Republican's, who have partly had to modernize the army after being left a demobilized mess from the Clinton years.

I think people are being ridiculous expecting or even seriously asking for the bleeding-edge, top-notch, latest-greatest most-expensive equipment for our troops. It would be nice, absolutely, and they should be equipped with the best we can offer within reasonable means.. but that said, it would also be virtually unprecedented in modern warfare.

The argument is essentially the same as made by General McClellan, a good enough Union general used at the outset of the Civil War. He never considered his troops to be trained enough, equipped enough, or otherwise ready enough to engage the Confederates, and Lincoln ended up having to sack him and his modern Democrat complaints about equipment and replace him with a string of generals until he found one both competent and pragmatic enough to get the job done. History repeats itself, as the cliche goes; or as the Cylon's say, all that has happened before will happen again. And it is.

Also worth noting that McClellan almost single-handedly ensured Confederate victory through his inaction. As is often the case in US history... we got lucky -- or were unlucky, I suppose, depending on your view. ;)

Carbon Fiber
By benny638 on 9/21/2007 10:23:25 AM , Rating: 3
Its important for people to realize that carbon fiber or composities don't really yeild, they break so during a crash that would shatter, aluminum which is used for the frame material in all formula cars absorbs most of the g loading associated with an impact, so the same will hold true for the Hummves. Just like ceramics which offer superior armor propection but are so hard they are brittle. I think there is a Boeing engineer that just got fired because he voiced an openion about using composities in the 787 and it being able to survie a crash. Just food for thought. As an Aerospace Engineer this is something I deal with day in and day out.

RE: Carbon Fiber
By aeroengineer1 on 9/21/2007 1:52:37 PM , Rating: 4
I am saddened once again by the general lack of composites knowledge exhibited by the general population. Everybody here is stating that this thing is going to be built out of carbon fiber and that id doe not yield. Every poster is ignoring the fact that carbon fiber is just that, fibers made of carbon woven together, but carbon fiber composite is something very different. When you add a resin to the matrix, that is where the properties can change, and you can find different resins for different jobs. Some resins are softer than others. Carbon fiber composites tend to have more of a fracturing effect than kevlar. Kevlar and kevlar composites are very flexible. Indeed, it is one of the main components in bulletproof vests (you will not hear that mentioned along side of the Dan Rather story). Indeed there are many more varieties of fiber (matrix) and resin combinations that it is like saying that all metals yeild and do not fracture. If you believe that, please go and buy a tungsten electrode and try and bend it or a high grade tool steel. You will find that these truly shatter, where as composites that break may shatter, but their throwing of shrapnel is very litted because the particles tend to be very light if the part is properly designed.

Also on a side note, the guy that got fired from Boeing is just trying to make a name for himself and trying t damage the company that fired him for saying that he wanted to hang his black supervisor on a meat hook, and was denied whistle blower status here recently as he tried to air this story with Dan Rather. I am not too sure who was more duped, Dan Rather for believing him, or the engineer because Dan Rather used him. If you would like a link here it is.
It is about half way down the story.


RE: Carbon Fiber
By thartist on 9/21/2007 2:51:56 PM , Rating: 3
Yeh, and they are so stupid that they spent hundreds of millions researching a material that is weaker and will just break if shot. Of course.

Woo hoo!
By marsbound2024 on 9/21/07, Rating: 0
RE: Woo hoo!
By TomZ on 9/21/2007 10:49:17 AM , Rating: 6
I don't think that's funny. People being killed isn't comedy.

RE: Woo hoo!
By marsbound2024 on 9/21/07, Rating: 0
RE: Woo hoo!
By CascadingDarkness on 9/21/2007 6:25:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get it. The only way any of your mockery makes sense is if your bashing the Humvee in general, meaning no matter how they improve the vechicle it will still be a death trap (which is a pretty big leap based on your short comments).

I for one cheer them trying to protect troops. Hopefully it won't be too costly as there seems to be a gray line cut off somewhere between cost, and protecting service peoples lives.

RE: Woo hoo!
By marsbound2024 on 9/22/2007 2:12:20 PM , Rating: 1
Ok so I'm not entirely sure how you people don't get it, but I'll walk you through it. The Humvee was not designed for urban warfare. It does this minimally well at best. However, with IEDs an everyday thing, I think the US Army really has not even made a serious attempt at protecting our troops from this relatively new, common-place threat. There certainly needed to be either a newly designed urban vehicle or a total overhaul of our current lightly-armored vehicles so that IEDs would not be so much of a problem.

Besides, it doesn't matter so much about cost. Seriously, this war has already cost us hundreds of billions of dollars, so I doubt a few more million will make a difference. But according to you, the cost is a bigger issue and thus the Humvee is all you would go for. Doesn't seem like you want to protect the troops in my opinion.

Of course the best scenario would be to pull out by Spring of 2008 whether the Iraqis were ready or not. Having a deadline would discourage IED attacks in my opinion because all we have to do is say "If IED attacks continue, then we will deem it necessary to stay as Iraq is not stable enough." Now of course there will still be some IEDs, but hopefully not as many. Also, having a deadline means that the Iraqis could get their butt in gear without having to depend on us so much.

So in conclusion, the Humvee is a wonderful vehicle, but not designed for urban scenarios. Either it needs a complete overhaul or a new vehicle is necessary in these situations. This is a step, but a bit disappointing to me, nonetheless. Composites are nice, but I feel that the Army is trying to take the cheap route. Not a good idea in my mind.

By Brandon Hill on 9/21/2007 9:23:50 AM , Rating: 2
Added this to the article... What our troops face over there

By PAPutzback on 9/21/2007 11:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
I saw that the other night. It seemed to barely phase the drive though I don't doubt he shit his self and everybody inside said a quick prayer of thanks.

It was also interesting that the convoy slowed down but then got right back up to speed.

The video makes me wish BF2 had IEDs and deformamble terrain. That would be cool if you could flip vehicles coming down the road in Starkand.

By Ringold on 9/21/2007 12:49:28 PM , Rating: 1
The driver seems like a glass half full type to me..

"Holy shit, that could've killed the truck in front of us!"

Where as my thought would've been:

"Holy shit, that could've fucked me up!"

Perhaps a half-full approach is required for the sake of sanity..

By TomZ on 9/21/2007 1:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, that's interesting. I also got the impression that the some of the soldiers found it kind of amusing. It wasn't the reaction I would expect, but I guess like you said, it might be required for the sake of sanity.

Misses the point!
By tcjake on 9/21/2007 9:44:31 AM , Rating: 2
Composite or not, HUMMV's should not be used to "win" this war. I remember seeing the propaganda films from before WWII with hundreds of Jeep's zipping over the battlefield, this was going to win us WWII by transporting troops quikly. Problem was the German Panzers took them out rather quikly and the jungles in the pacific basically nullify Jeeps.

Using HUMMV's in Iraq is dumb, use armored transports, not lighter HUMMV's.

RE: Misses the point!
By Calin on 9/21/2007 10:09:44 AM , Rating: 2
Jeeps were used not to transport troops quickly, but to transport equipment quickly. One Jeep was able to carry or tow a small antitank canon, or mortars, or ammunition, or some other support weaponry. Troops transport was done by trucks.
(yes, there is a big mobility advantage in marching when your 20 pounds machine gun and 12 pounds tripod and 10 ammo chains are in a car, and not shared between the two operators of the machine gun).
Fully agree with the use of armored transports - only that even in armored transports, your people are vulnerable

RE: Misses the point!
By 3kliksphilip on 9/22/2007 12:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
War is great for advancing technology. I wonder why they didn't do it sooner. At the moment, upgrades and inventions are coming out at the same speed as those in Command and Conquer. 'Upgrade Complete'.

The only story here is the material...
By Comdrpopnfresh on 9/21/2007 9:34:38 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with IEDs and the humvee is that the humvee is flat at the bottom. The force from an explosion is almost fully on the base of the humvee. The RIGHT move would be to move to better troop carriers which reflect the blast- which do exist, and have been promised enmass for years. Instead they just make the same flawed design, just with superstrong balsa...

By winterspan on 9/23/2007 11:41:15 PM , Rating: 2

Theres a large argument right now about getting the army to get the MRAP IED-resistant vehicles out to Baghdad pronto!

If you don't know what Im talking about people, go wikipedia it!

Better idea...
By jonmcc33 on 9/22/2007 1:46:58 PM , Rating: 3
How about just pulling out of Iraq altogether? That would save more American soldier lives than putting better armor on vehicles. That would also save more tax payer dollars.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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