Armor: Mexico Turns To Armored Hummers

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June 14, 2014: Mexico has ordered 3,335 M1152 HMMWVs (hummers) at a cost of $167,000 each. This includes a ring mount for weapons or a turret. Mexico needs these vehicles to equip troops fighting drug cartels along the U.S. border. The cartel gunmen will often fight it out with troops, or even ambush them. Thus the need for a light armored vehicles like the M1152, which is a hummer built to handle the additional weight of armor protection while still being able to haul two tons of cargo and up to eight troops. Thus one of the key changes in the M1152 is a stronger suspension and a larger engine (a 6.5 liter turbo-diesel). This allows the vehicle to easily handle an additional 680 kg (1,500 pounds) of armor. More importantly, the armor is easily installed, or taken off. This allows the hummers to operate more efficiently without the armor when the threat of attack is much reduced. The M1152 also has some armor underneath. This is not a lot of protection against mines and roadside bombs, but it is better than none. The M1152 is basically an armored car that can two tons as well as carry two tons (cargo or troops) internally. Top speed is 80 kilometers an hour and a max range (on internal fuel, on roads) of 480 kilometers. All the armored protection is good against 7.62mm machine-guns and rifles, bombs, landmines and nearby bursting shells of up to 155mm.

The M1152 hummer also comes with Vehicle Emergency Escape (VEE) Windows. These are bulletproof windows with a latch system. It takes about five seconds to turn the latches and push the window forward. This enables troops to get out of vehicles that have rolled over, or gone into the water, and jammed the doors. If the vehicle catches fire, either from an accident or roadside bomb, the VEE has already proved to be a lifesaver since it was introduced in 2007.

A 2011 innovation make these vehicles as resistant to the blast effect of roadside bombs as an MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle weighing more than twice as much. The solution was a chimney, made of lightweight, but very strong, material that vents most of the bomb blast upward, sparing the crew. For all these reasons the M1151 (weapons carrier) and M1152 (troop/cargo carrier) versions have become the preferred HMMWV model in areas where there is a lot of violence.

 


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