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Cage Armor Applied to New Vehicles

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Look for the bar-like fencing helping to defend Army Buffalos from rocket-propelled grenade attacks to find their way onto RG31 and Couger vehicles beginning in January.

And BAE, the company behind the L-ROD rails, is already developing the system for its RG33s and Caimans, which also are mine resistant ambush protected vehicles, MRAPs.

The L-ROD kit is basically an easy to install or remove "cage" that is an extra layer of protection around a vehicle. It can't stop an RPG but as the weapon penetrates the cage the bars begin stripping away at the explosive's casing -- and much of its lethality -- even before impact.

William Kellner, director of special programs and sensor systems for BAE Systems of Reston, Va., said the simple design and standard sizes of the L-ROD system make for efficiencies in commonality that translates into making it easier to keep forward locations supplied with them.

The L-RODS have been used on the Buffalo vehicles since about 2005, Kellner said.

The bars are made of the same material as aircraft wings, so that they're flexible -- you can even climb up and down them -- but they don't bend, he said.

-- Bryant Jordan

Editor's Note: Military.com and Defense Tech contributor Bryant Jordan will be trolling the halls of this year's Association of the U.S. Army trade show in Washington this week. He'll be posting updates on gear and issues of interest to DT readers throughout each of the three day conference. Check back frequently for new info.

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