U.S. convoys have become juicy targets for insurgents. The vehicles roll around the desert with about as much armor as a Chevy pick-up. And the gun trucks meant to protect the supply trains aren't muscular enough to shove guerillas aside.So one Army Staff Sergeant, James King, decided to take matters into his own hands, The State (via Jeff Quinton) reports. SSG King has designed a new gun truck for convoy protection.
The truck currently is undergoing a seven-day road test in Iraq and initial reports are good, Maj. Ricky Smith, the 175th [Maintenance Company's] commander, reported Wednesday.So far, no one has shot at it and that is the effect we wanted to scare the h--- out of the bad guys, Smith wrote in an e-mail to The State...Kings design adds an armored box, bristling with guns, that can be bolted onto the back of a heavy transport truck in a convoy. It is much different than the gun trucks the Army has used for decades. Those are quick, agile gun trucks designed to race up and down the length of a convoy to meet attackers.Kings gun truck recently unveiled at Camp Arifjan, where the 175th is stationed in Kuwait weighs more than 20 tons. The vehicle originally was designed to haul a battle tank...The walls of the box are protected on the side by several layers of Kevlar. There are a few inches between the Kevlar and the sides of the truck to absorb most of the impact and shrapnel if it is hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, King said.That part of the design has not been tested, King said. We wont know until an RPG hits it.The box is made of three-eighths-inch-thick steel plating, which can stop most small-arms fire. The floor is reinforced with two layers of the steel plating to protect against bombs.The box is armed with one 40-mm and one .50-caliber machine gun. It has room for two other gunners.If the truck makes it past its first real-world road test in Iraq this week, King and the others who worked on the project will construct seven more boxes for the 7th Transportation Group.