US Army Selects Top Inventions That Can Take, Or Save, Your Life

IEDs, or Improvised Explosive Devices, are a sad fact of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, so you'll see the influence of these deadly weapons in this list of the US Army's top inventions for 2007. Every year the Army selects the top refinements, outright new inventions, or streamlined weaponry, and pumps out a list. This year's list features several new types of Humvee armour, GPS-guided artillery rounds, and a wheeled contraption for vehicles called SPARK (above), which sniffs out IEDs before they have a chance to do any damage.

Here is the XM982 Excalibur precision-guided artillery projectile. Soldiers are able to program map grid coordinates into an Excalibur round and use GPS to guide it to target with pinpoint accuracy.
The Objective Gunner Protection Kit (OGPK) is a motorised, rotating turret mounted on top of Humvees and MRAP vehicles. According to the Army it offers protection from IED fragmentation and small-arms fire, includes transparent armour, a sling for the gunner, and super handy rear-view mirrors.
The HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer (that's better known as "Humvee") is a mockup of a Hummer's cabin, and can be spun around to simulate an upended vehicle. Soldiers use this invention to practice disembarking from damaged or overturned vehicles before they're deployed. [CNET]

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