Friday, May 9, 2008

Celebrating the Destruction of an MRAP?

A friend of mine at Quantico just leaked the following PowerPoint presentation to me. I called the number at the bottom of the first slide and was able to speak with Major Ruhlen, who seems to be getting an annoying number of calls about this. His number is redacted here. He claimed that someone had just slapped his “letterhead” on this one, and he had nothing to do with this file or anything to do with the MRAP for that matter. In fact, he even said that he did not know how much an MRAP costs.

After a quick google search, I was able to find out that the MRAP costs about a million dollars. The presentation says that “everyone walked away from a 500 lb explosion.” I have no idea how they were able to determine the weight of the explosive. Perhaps they picked up all the scraps of shrapnel and put them back together. But odds are, the explosives used came from an old Iraqi stockpile. Even if it really was 500 pounds of explosives, it probably cost Saddam just a few dollars to make, and didn't cost anything for the people who were responsible for putting it under the MRAP.

If our enemies can cost us a million dollars at almost no cost, and send us off giddily making Power Point presentations about it, we are pretty much fucked as a country.

Notice that the author says, “EVERYONE IN THE VEHICLE WALKED AWAY,” and “the driver got some broken ribs.” “Walked away,” isn't exactly a medical term. Now, I'm sure the soldiers were grateful to be in an MRAP and not a humvee, but I'm just as sure that they are not thrilled about the possibility of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) symptoms that may be with them for the rest of their lives.

The cost of the average humvee is about $140,000. Is it worth the extra cost of the MRAPs to save soldiers lives? Absolutely, if that was the equation in a bubble. The real question is, is it worth investing millions of dollars in this effort to force insurgents to make a marginally bigger bomb? But in the meantime, who is asking, “Should we stop making people want to blow us up and bleed us into bankrupcy?”

Here is the text from the first slide of the presentation, which is dated May 1st:

Soldiers survived!!

This is one of the new "hardened" MRAP vehicles that was hit by a 500 lb bomb (IED). The vehicle was totally destroyed, but EVERYONE IN THE VEHICLE WALKED AWAY.

Note the unusual construction of the bottom of the hardened Pathfinder APC. Note the bottom looks like the hull of a ship. The blast picked up the truck and turned it around! The driver got some broken ribs (see the photo of the steering wheel), but that's it. Everyone walked away from a 500 lb explosion directly beneath their vehicle.


YA76OO said...

I love this blog, It's very interesting, again

Anonymous said...

There is something odd about these photos. The hoses are all neatly disconnected and there is no sign of hull deformation when an IED supposedly blasted through it, blowing the engine 100 yards away? Shouldn't there be burn marks on the steel or even any discoloration at all?

Anonymous said...

Listen, that is what the Couger is designed to do. The engine area will blow apart and everything in it will blow away from the vehicle. The hull itself is a 'V' shape hull which directs the blast away from it, instead of taking the entire force of the blast. Do some research next time. These MRAP vehicles were built for one reason, to save lives. So far, that is what they are doing.

fartface said...

Also, take note that only the passenger compartment is armored....therefore your fiberglass hood provides no protection for the engine. That is why the engine is so far away. As stated earlier, the armor is for saving you really think American soldiers have nothing better to do than stage something like what is in these pictures? C'mon.
SSG Vinson
U.S. Army

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how much money we spend on war and to protect our soldiers. But we need to soend that money with all the information we share out there on the net. For example this basically tells the terroist bomb makers to use more explsives in a different matter and lets them see up close what the effects of what they do have so they can change their tactics. I would love to say thank you to all of you who post stuff like this that endangers the lives of soldiers. Think before you post. Could you be helping the enemy?