Israeli armor may be used in Baghdad

US army could buy anti-explosives products to use in Iraq, Afghanistan.

us in afghan 298 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
us in afghan 298 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
A new type of armor made by Israel Military Industries (IMI) can help the US military diminish the threat of improvised explosive devices (IED) in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to IMI. The specially designed Steel Wall armor, developed at IMI's branch near Ramat Hasharon, significantly improves a vehicle's ability to survive an IED attack, IMI sources said. IMI CEO Avi Felder is in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to display the product at the US Army's annual defense exposition on Thursday. The IDF faced the threat of IED attacks in the Gaza Strip and during last summer's war in Lebanon. IED attacks are used by insurgents in Iraq and have killed hundreds of civilians and soldiers. Recently, the Bush administration said IEDs and other weaponry in Iraq were coming from Iran. IMI sources said Steel Wall provides protection against IEDs that detonate and release shrapnel, including metal balls or a large piece of metal, into the side of a military vehicle. IEDs are usually homemade bombs placed in an artillery or mortar shell. Development of Steel Wall was recently completed. It is made out of composite light-weight materials that can be fitted on the side and underside of an armored military vehicle. The armor absorbs the energy from the blast of an IED and prevents it from penetrating the vehicle. The US Army has not yet ordered the product, but ongoing high-level talks had a good chance of securing a contract, IMI sources said. "This was developed to meet Israeli and American needs," one IMI source said. Last week, Rafael (Armaments Development Authority) announced that it had won a $37 million contract to supply 60 Golan multipurpose modular armored vehicles to the US Marines for use in Iraq.