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I saw a military type vehicle today, and casually noticed its features designed to minimize road mine blasts. The passenger compartment was relatively high off the ground, and had a distinct V shape, and appeared to have an armored floor. The wheels were mounted wide, and were very heavy looking. My thoughts were, there needed to be a deflector mounted closer to the ground to absorb energy and prevent physical materials from flying toward the passenger compartment. An online search soon found on Wikipedia a vehicle similar to the one I saw, identified as a German ATF Dingo.

German combat vehicle Dingo

A German troop transporting combat vehicle named ATV Dingo that has road blast protection features.

A further search found a November 2010 analysis of 2212 Anti-vehicle (AV)mine incidents in Rhodesia comparing how well occupants of various vehicle configurations survived. As that conflict proceeded there were many different adaptations of commercial vehicles intended to enhance survival of the occupants of relatively light vehicles. This ungainly looking type called the Leopard endured a total of 67 road bombs and of the 264 occupants only one died.

Blast deflecting skis.

A blast-deflecting vehicle named the Leopard with blast deflecting skis added.

The cheap and easy to install improvement for saving soldiers’ lives would be foot wide ski-like skids supported about four inches above the road. They would give about an inch of clearance from the tire all the way around with about a foot or two of material extending toward the occupant compartment. When a blast occurred below a tire the energy and debris would be directed horizontally to the sides and thus away from the people inside.

Steel wraparound skis on military vehicles would deflect road mines’ deadly power.

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