A bomb flipped a 4ID Bradley Fighting Vehicle over, killing the driver and four passengers. Two of the riders were Iraqi Defense Forces personnel, the other two were US soldiers. The incident occurred near Taji, which is north of Baghdad.
Three Iraqis in a truck containing bomb-making materials were detained.
One thing that this proves is that even the heaviest US armored vehicles, the Bradley and the M1 tank, are vulnerable to bombs and mines. The CNN story says the Bradley’s turret was split open. In November, an M1 tank was destroyed by a mine which blew the tank’s turret completely off. The pics have been removed from SP but they are still out there on other sites.
Critics of the new Stryker bemoan the vehicle’s thin armor and the fact that wheeled vehicles may be more likely to be destroyed by mines and improvised explosive devices than the heavier, tracked Bradleys. Obviously, since the Stryker is designed to be lighter and therefore carries less armor, the Bradley should be able to take more punishment.
An IED disabled a Stryker in December, and the ensuing fire in the engine compartment eventually destroyed the vehicle. This is similar to what happened to the Bradley in Taji, except that the IED was apparently much stronger and the vehicle was flipped over by the blast. The Stryker crew escaped with mostly minor injuries. The Bradley guys weren’t all so lucky.
No amount of armor will make our vehicles completely bomb and mine proof. Even the biggies can be damaged or destroyed. A few days after that Stryker was destroyed, a second Stryker was damaged by an IED. This time, although a wheel was blown completely off, the vehicle continued on and was being repaired the next morning. A big question about the survivability of the Strykers will be answered after the first few times someone takes a potshot at them with an RPG.