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Humvee Armor Production Increase of 22% Available and Waiting for Three Years
Armor Holdings Inc., the sole supplier of protective plates for the Humvee military vehicles used in Iraq, said it could increase output by as much as 22 percent per month with no investment and is awaiting an order from the Army. . . . U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday the Army was working as fast as it can and supply is dictated by "a matter of physics, not a matter of money." [COMMENT: He's lying and everybody knows it. Some people are getting rich from this war, but the money isn't being used to protect our troops. Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheny, and the rest of them should be put on trial for the war criminals they are.] . . . Jacksonville, Florida-based Armor Holdings last month told the Army it could add armor to as many as 550 of the trucks a month, up from 450 vehicles now, Robert Mecredy, president of the company's aerospace and defense group said in a telephone interview today. . . . "We're prepared to build 50 to 100 vehicles more per month," Mecredy said in the interview. "I've told the customer that and I stand ready to do that." . . . Insurgent attacks on the vehicles with homemade bombs and rocket-propelled grenades are accounting for as much as half of the more than 1,000 U.S. deaths and 9,000 U.S. wounded in Iraq, according to Congressional estimates. . . . U.S. troops preparing for deployment to Iraq told Rumsfeld yesterday they are salvaging armor from landfills to install "hillbilly armor" on their Humvees. Rumsfeld replied that "you have to go to war with the Army you have." . . . Armor Holdings has already boosted output from 60 vehicles a month a year ago, said Mecredy, 58. As a result of the increased output, Armor Holdings has cut the price for the armor its supplies for the trucks to $58,000 per vehicle, from $72,000 per vehicle a year ago, Mecredy said. . . . When he was asked about current production yesterday, Rumsfeld wasn't sure of the exact figure saying "it's something like 400 a month are being done." . . . "It's a matter of production and capability of doing it," Rumsfeld, 72, said. . . . AM General spokesman Lee Woodward also said that truck output could also be increased. . . . "If they ordered more trucks, we'd build more trucks," Woodward said. "We're not close to capacity." . . . The main reason there isn't enough armor is because the military has underestimated its own needs, said Meghan Keck, spokeswoman for Senator Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat. Bayh wrote a letter to Rumsfeld in October calling for a more accurate estimate of Humvee needs. . . . "If the Army would be up front about the number of Humvees needed, the companies would be able to set their production accordingly to meet the need," Keck said in a phone interview.
posted by Lorenzo 3:48 PM