Troops in northern Iraq have modified MRAPs to deflect anti-tank grenades known as RKG-3s, said Brig. Gen. Robert Brown, deputy commander of Multi-National Division-North.
Popular with Sufi insurgents in northern Iraq, RKGs are thrown and have a parachute to stabilize them in flight so that the business end of the grenade hits its target.
At the tip of the grenade is an explosive penetrator designed to blow a hole in the vehicle, and a secondary shape charge inside the device creates a blast designed to injure or kill the personnel inside the vehicle, Maj. Scott Rawlinson, a spokesman for U.S. troops in Kirkuk, said in August.
Rawlinson said RKG attacks are mostly ineffective, but one U.S. soldier was killed in such an attack in July.
To counter the device, about 40 MRAPs in northern Iraq have extra screens on the outside to deflect RKG-3s, Brown said.
One attack weve had since then, cant verify, but it was ineffective, and we think the screen had something to do with it, he said.
Troops have also modified the turrets in MRAPs so that they can see RKG-3 throwers and have protection from snipers, Brown said.
Overall, RKG-3 attacks have fallen in the past 10 months, due in part to attacks on RKG networks, he said.
Asked if the RKG-3s are coming into Iraq from Iran and Syria, Brown said the devices do not all come from a single source.
The RKG-3s are made all over the world, and they come from a variety of locations, he said. We know some came through Syria. We know some came through Iran, but there is not one single source; and then some, it was tough to determine where they came from.
PHOTO: File of an MRAP.