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ARLINGTON, Va. — For the first time, the Army has budgeted to put special “reactive armor” on 150 Stryker fighting vehicles, Maj. Gen. Edgar E. Stanton III said Monday.

The Army’s proposed budget for fiscal 2007 calls for $118 billion in spending, of which $33 million would go toward fitting Strykers with the high-tech armor — which explodes outward when hit – to deflect blasts and projectiles.

In other areas of force protection:

The Army plans to spend $583 million to buy more than 3,000 up-armored Humvees, about 1,000 more than the service is buying in fiscal 2006, officials said.No information was available Monday on how much the Army plans to spend on body armor and body armor reimbursement in fiscal 2007, Stanton said.Strykers are currently fitted with cagelike “slat” armor, designed to catch rocket-propelled grenades so they explode away from the vehicles.

The Army decided in 2003 that the Strykers should have reactive armor, but it has taken some time for the Army to develop armor for the Strykers that is light enough for the vehicles.

The special armor is expected to be ready in November, and the Strykers may be fitted with it and deployed in 2007, Army spokeswoman Maj. Desiree Wineland said.

The Army plans to fit four Stryker brigades with the special armor at a rate of one brigade per year, Wineland said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes on Monday.

The proposed budget also calls for spending $796 million for 100 new Strykers, including 65 armed with 105 mm guns, Army officials said.

The armed Strykers will be fielded over the next 18 months to replace other armed vehicles in Stryker brigades, officials said.

For aviation, the Army has requested $3.6 billion for aviation spending including:

$795 million to upgrade 36 AH-64 Apache helicopters.$740 million to buy 38 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.$199 million for 38 light utility helicopters.$141 million for eight armed reconnaissance helicopters.The Army also has asked for $1.3 billion for Army Family Housing, of which $595 million is earmarked to upgrade 4,561 family homes, budget figures show.

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