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Quick-release windshield for the Humvee

vee_outside-dt.jpgArmor is vital on the battlefield. We all remember the outcry over the shortage of up-armored Humvees in the early days of the campaign in Iraq. But when you're in a hurry to get out, all that heavy protection works against you. Here's some recent news that should give our troops another avenue of escape when things go bad: The Vehicle Emergency Escape (VEE) Window

Ninety U.S. soldiers have died and 250 have been injured in Iraq as a result of combat vehicle rollovers. Fourteen of the 90 deaths were drownings after the heavy vehicles were attacked and flipped into water where the escape doors were pinned or jammed shut.The Army requested ideas from contractors throughout the nation last year to address the problem. The Army currently operates 30,000 armored Humvees and 40,000 unarmored Humvees.BAE spent seven months and $500,000 developing its solution, then presented their prototype to the Army for testing earlier this month.
BAE Systems' solution, the VEE Window, looks good:vee_inside-dt.jpg
The prototype windshield, which they said can be installed in the field in one hour, is expected to give soldiers one more means of escaping quickly from a Humvee. Under the patented design, the windshield can be removed in less than five seconds...In August, BAE engineer Michael Hafften began designing a latching mechanism that could transform the armored Humvee's bulletproof windshield into a new escape path. Hafften designed two latch pins that release the windshield with a simple quarter-turn. Soldiers then push the windshield out. The system, which doesn't compromise the security of the windshield, has been shared with Humvee maker Armor Holdings, BAE officials said.
The Humvee doesn't seem to be the right solution for most of the situations our troops are finding themselves in these days, and a better vehicle should be selected sooner rather than later. In the meantime, though, and since the Humvee will remain a mainstay for years to come regardless of any new vehicles, we need to do what we can to keep up with an evolving battlefield.The first VEE Windows could by ready by this summer. As of now, it doesn't appear that anyone else has come forward with a design. See more pics and video at BAE's site.--cross-posted by Murdoc
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