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PAMELA HESS, Pentagon correspondent for UPI interviewed marine General Magnus on June 8, 2004:
About $500 Million of that has come from the marine's annual budget. The Corps has forsworn new Humvees to pay for extra armor for the vehicles it already owns.
The marine corps has had to install up to 1,800 pounds of armor plating on Humvees and other vehicles to protect marines against roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenade attacks. The armor has been permanently welded onto about 3,000 vehicles so far with another 1,000 to go. The problem is what will happen to these vehicles after the war.
"That has pretty interesting implications. A Humvee has 1,800 lbs. of armor on it, now it can't even be lifted by the V-22 at the distances you want. And what does 800 to 1,800 pounds of armor do for you in Africa? Gets a very well-armored vehicle stuck in the mud," Magnus said.
The extra weight poses near-term problems as well. The vehicles were designed to carry a certain payload; the extra weight stresses the frame and reduces the amount of equipment they can haul, forcing three vehicles to carry a load one could otherwise handle. It also breaks door hinges and bolts, forcing more maintenance in the field and putting a further demand on other vehicles.