Iraq: Armoured Humvees required

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Only about 2 per cent of the army’s 110,000-strong fleet of Humvees were armoured when the war began just more than a year ago.

Of the almost 15,000 Humvees deployed to Iraq, 1500 to 2000 are armoured, according to the army.

Factories have also reportedly been instructed to boost production of the armoured version.

On Sunday, a Humvee was engulfed in flames after a roadside bomb struck a US convoy in eastern Baghdad, killing a US soldier. It was not known if the Humvee had the extra armour.

The basic M998 Humvee, or High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle, began rolling off assembly lines in 1985, replacing the Jeep and were variously configured to serve as a field ambulance, scout vehicle or war zone taxi. An armoured Humvee first appeared in 1993.