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American troops have complained that a new armoured body suit designed to be worn in Iraq makes them look "goofy".
The water-cooled "alien spacesuits" are being handed out to turret gunners in their notoriously vulnerable Humvee vehicles.
The protective suit, based on those worn by bomb disposal officers, was intended to cut spiralling casualties for one of the most dangerous jobs in modern warfare.
But some troops have complained that the armour and headgear is inelegant. Others say the water-cooling system, designed for the soaring temperatures of an Iraqi summer, regularly breaks down.
Nonetheless, the suits being tested in combat by US military police units in northern Iraq have produced good results.
Capt Larry Bergeron told the military newspaper Stars and Stripes that the armour was credited with saving the lives of three men sprayed with shrapnel from roadside bombs.
"One soldier's visor stopped a piece of shrapnel that hit dead centre," he said. "If he had not had that suit on, the effects could have been catastrophic."
Gunners on Humvees have high casualty rates. While newly-installed armour protects those inside, the gunner stands with the upper half of his body exposed, making him far more vulnerable to roadside bombs and gunfire. Others have been crushed as vehicles overturn.
But Specialist Michael Floyd, 19, said: "I am not a big fan of this thing. It is really hot and hard to move around in. I do feel safer, but only in an explosion. I would not feel safer in a rollover or in small-arms fire."
Originally posted by st3ve_o
when your in conflict its not a fashion show!! -
if that suit saves lifes then why moan about it?? the yanks are too obsessed by their looks, tell your soldiers to take their sunglasses off in iraq and put some safety specticles on instead
[edit on 9-5-2006 by st3ve_o]
Originally posted by deltaboy
Anybody else have a good idea how to protect troops from sniper attacks or IEDs while manning the gun on humvees? Except for the CROW system. Its the only thing thats good protecting the troops.
Originally posted by st3ve_o
I know that is saves live and tht shuld bethemsor im thig but havey ouguys seen what that new armor looks like?
Originally posted by Russian soldier
I agree with all of you!!!!!!
American soldiers complain too much.
I'll bet when they face a life and death situation and the armor saves their life, then they won't be complaining no more.
I'm going to be a Russian soldier very soon and I wouldn't care if I had to wear Tank armor as long as it protected me!!! And about being goofy, I'd wear a pink suit with flowers as long as it gave me the best protection!!!!!!