Army Rushes FRAG 7 to the Field

By Maj. Carlos LagoApril 2, 2009

Army rushes FK7 to field
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Warren, MI -U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan will have a little more protection for the HMMWV soon as Product Manager, Light Tactical Vehicles (PM, LTV) fields Fragmentation Kit Seven (FRAG 7) to the Army's work horse, the M1151 Up-Armored HMMWV, just in time for the SURGE.

In response to an Operational Needs Statement (ONS) from the field for overhead protection, PM, LTV has accelerated the development and production of FRAG 7, producing the kit in less than 6 months in partnership with Industrial Base Operations- Rock Island Arsenal (IBO-RIA) and AM General Corporation, manufacturer of the HMMWV.

FRAG 7 boasts removable overhead armor protection for both the gunner and all the occupants of the M1151. A majority of the M1151 fleet will be retrofitted with this new enhancement. FRAG 7 was designed to give the commander on the ground the flexibility to use all or a portion of the kit depending on the unit's mission.

FRAG 7 introduces the ARDEC developed and Army Depot produced Overhead Cover (OHC), which provides the capability for the gunner to view the battlefield without compromising safety. Fitted with transparent armored glass, the OHC provides protection from the sun, while still allowing the gunner to maintain situational awareness. A removable roof appliquAfA is also included to shield occupants from overhead threats, as well as new Load Range "E" tire and wheel assemblies that will provide increased reliability and durability compared to the current tire and wheel assembly. The BAE developed Vehicle Emergency Egress (VEE) window will also be included. It provides additional egress options through the driver and passenger side windows. The new armor suspension kit (ASK) will also be provided, this new suspension will increase durability and compensates for the additional weight placed on the vehicle.

Product Manager, Light Tactical Vehicles (PM-LTV) is responsible for the fielding's and manages the Army's entire inventory of HMMWV's, ensuring its sustainment from "cradle to grave".

With the workhorse of this conflict, the Up-Armored HMMWV, there have been a series of Frag Kits and and other upgrades to ensure mission accomplishment and Soldier survivability. Frag Kit 7 is the next response to the meet the needs of the War Fighter," said Lt. Col. Samuel Homsy, Product Manager for Light Tactical Vehicles. "The dedicated Soldiers and civilians in PM LTV work tirelessly to ensure the quality and timeliness of support to the field."

The FRAG 7 will also include the latest safety enhancements for the M1151, to include a battery back up to the current Fire Suppression System (AFES), and a Manual "3rd Bottle" Fire Suppression System (MFES) for 1st responders. A new brake line kit will also be included to help reduce brake fade that may occur due to the added weight along with a fuel filler door cover kit that prevents unauthorized access to the fuel filler and added armor protection to the edge of the doors.

"The Overhead Cover adds more protection for the Soldier. This addition proved to be a valuable asset especially in the urban area in which my unit was operating in. The armor above the Soldiers' heads gave each one a greater sense of security instead of having a camouflage net attached to a piece of a Hesco basket. Overall this is a great addition to the vehicles," said Capt. Kevin Dagon, Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 5th Battalion, 25 Field Artillery, whose unit evaluated the OHC in Iraq.

FRAG 7 is designed to be both safe and effective for Soldiers conducting patrols, convoy security and missions throughout battlefield. Its modularity allows for numerous configurations to support the ground commanders' unique mission requirements. Soldiers will not need any additional training for FRAG 7, although they will be reminded to adhere to local commander and unit guidance when conducting combat operations.

(Maj. Carlos Lago serves as the Assistant Product Manager for ARMOR (HMMWV))