Shit. Just, shit.
The Army is fixing the doors of every armored Humvee in combat in Iraq because they can jam shut during an attack and trap soldiers inside, Pentagon records and interviews show.
One quick fix to the jamming problem was to weld D-shaped hooks to Humvee doors so another truck could rip them off with a cable. The hook is built into the latest version of armor added to the Humvee, known as the Frag Kit 5, said Lt. Col. William Wiggins, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon. “Every Humvee outside (a fortified base) will have a hook,” Wiggins said. There are about 18,000 Humvees in Iraq.
When armor from the new kits is added, a Humvee door can weigh at least 600 pounds, said Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., of the House Armed Services Committee. The Humvee has run its course as a useful vehicle, he said. “It wasn’t designed for urban warfare.”
Tom Buckner, an owner of IbisTek, a small military contractor, said the Humvee door problem became apparent early in 2006. The company produces a device know as the Rat Claw, which grips the Humvee door, while cables attached to another truck rip it off. The military has bought about 1,500 of the $400 devices.