A new breed of weapons employed by insurgents in Iraq is causing heavy casualties to U.S. troops in Iraq. “Explosively Formed Projectiles” (EFPs) are far more lethal than more traditional improvised explosive devices (IEDs)” said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told reporters today during a Pentagon news conference.

Such EFPs, believed to be produced in Iraq and infiltrated into Iraq to support insurgent groups are capable of taking out armored vehicles including, in certain aspects, an M1-A2 Abrams tank. Gates said that the U.S. military effort is aimed at uprooting the networks that are providing these EFPS, as well as IEDs, to al Qaeda and other groups, noting that such weapons account for about 70 percent of coalition casualties in Iraq.

In our upcoming issue, Defense Update will survey advanced means of ballistic protection, including new types of armor developed in Israel to defend against IEDs and EFP, resulting from the experience the Israel Defense Forces gathered through many encounters with RSIED/EFP and Explosive Formed Fragmentation charges (EFF) employed by Hezbollah and Palestinian guerillas in South Lebanon and Gaza.

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