US Army unveils Top 10 innovations for 2007

Every spring, the U.S. Army designates a set of top inventions from the preceding year. Rather than radical, out-of-the-blue creations, the list tends more toward refinements on existing gear, but that doesn't make them any less significant for the soldiers who use that gear in battlefield conditions.

The top inventions for 2007, honored in a ceremony last month, like last year's bunch has an emphasis on ways to reduce the threat of, or the damage from, improvised explosive devices. This year's group also recognizes a novel technique for saving the lives of severely injured soldiers.

1. RQ-7 Shadow

Earlier this year, the Shadow was one of a half-dozen UAVs considered worthy of being put on display at the Smithsonian Institution. It can fly at about 100 miles per hour and reach an altitude of about 19,000 feet.

2. XM982 Excalibur

Excalibur rounds improve upon the accuracy of conventional 155mm artillery shells through the use of data from GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites and automatic updates of the navigation system. Grid coordinates are programmed into the round via the Enhanced Portable Inductive Artillery Fuse Setter.

3. M-777A2 Howitzer

A soldier pulls the lanyard on an M-777A2 howitzer for the first firing in Afghanistan of a GPS-guided Excalibur round. Besides being digitally programmable, the M-777 is about 9,800 pounds lighter than the more common M-198 howitzer, according to the Army.

4. RECCE Vehicle System (adapted Cougar MRAP)

The RECCE differs from the Cougar's base configuration because of the addition of several subsystems: the Protector remote-weapon assembly; Gyrocam image sensors; aviation Blue Force Tracker technology for identifying friendly forces; and a Robot Deployment System that lets the crew deploy and retrieve a Talon robot without opening the vehicle.

5. Objective Gunner Protection Kit (OGPK)

The Objective Gunner Protection Kit is a motorized, rotating turret designed to be mounted on top of Humvees and MRAP vehicles. It offers protection from explosive device fragmentation and small-arms fire. It includes transparent armor, a sling for the gunner, and rear-view mirrors.

6. Picatinny Blast Shield

Somewhat similar in function to the OGPK is the Picatinny Blast Shield, which attaches to an existing turret. The blast shield has transparent armor and is angled to deflect blasts. Its light weight makes it suitable for use on amphibious vehicles, where weight is critical. It mounts to the top surface of the U.S. Marine Corps LAV-25, at the vehicle commander hatch station. More than 150 Picatinny Blast Shields were fielded in 2007 for the LAV-25.

7. M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System

This is the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System, which fires 7.62mm rounds and is designed, the Army says, for "rapid and focused engagements on several targets with multiple follow-on shots." The SASS is the U.S. Army's first weapons system integrating a "quick attach/detach sound suppressor."

8. Self Protective Adaptive Roller Kit (SPARK)

The Self Protective Adaptive Roller Kit, or SPARK, is the contraption attached to the front of the vehicle. It is designed for "standoff protection" to trigger explosive devices before they can do the most harm to the vehicle and its occupants.

9. IED Interrogation Arm

Another tool for dealing with roadside bombs without getting too close is the Improvised Explosive Device Interrogation Arm. This device incorporates a metal detector, along with a camera that lets the operator better see whatever is at the end of the arm. It can lift objects, pry them loose, and do shallow digging.

10. Damage Control Resuscitation of Severely Injured Soldiers

The Damage Control Resuscitation method, the Army says, has become the "standard of care for the most severely injured soldiers requiring massive transfusions." The injuries in question are internal ones, so compression techniques can't be used to stanch blood.

Typically, patients who have lost blood would be administered IV salt solutions in a volume three times greater than their blood volume, and may also receive a blood transfusion. But for some severely injured patients, that massive amount of fluid and blood can be harmful as it inhibits the body's ability to clot.

With Damage Control Resuscitation, doctors limit the use of salt solution, and they restore blood volume using more plasma than in ordinary situations (an even mix of plasma and red blood cells, rather than the more common ratio of four parts red blood cells to one part plasma).

The Army says that the technique has reduced the mortality rate for severely injured soldiers in the field from 65 percent to 17 percent.


What would ours be? Anyone who thinks the US are sitting back and doing sod all is seriously ill-informed.
I do remember watching a programe on the XM982 Excalibur. It is one accurate pieace of kit. They fired one shell off target by 4 miles and it still landed with in 2 metres of the target! Bloody expensive shells which we could'nt afford but still its fantastic!
No 10 = wow. Huge improvement in survivability; UOR?
Sorry for the long post:

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- A new lifesaving standard of care has garnered the Institute of Surgical Research here a prestigious Army title - invention of the year.

The innovation, called Damage Control Resuscitation of Severely Injured Soldiers, was named one of the Army's "Top Ten Greatest Inventions of 2007."

"The American Association for Trauma Surgeons calls this one of the biggest improvements to trauma care in the last 10 years," said Dr. Michael Dubick, senior research pharmacologist for the ISR.

The invention is aimed at saving severely injured Soldiers with non-compressible injuries, meaning internal injuries that cannot be compressed using a tourniquet or other device, Dubick said.

The ISR focused its attention on severely injured Soldiers after analyzing data from an autopsy study, which showed that 79 percent of service members killed in combat died of hemorrhage, and 70 percent had an injury that couldn't be compressed.

"We needed to find a better way to stop bleeding," Dubick said. "In theater, there was no solution for people with non-compressible injuries."

The innovation involves the fluid resuscitation process, which is when IV fluids and blood products are used to stabilize a patient's physiology.

The standard method is to administer IV salt solutions in an amount that is three times the patient's blood volume. If the patient is still bleeding, blood transfusions are given to restore lost blood.

In most cases, this method is effective for the wounded, but for some severely injured warriors, the massive volume of fluids and blood can create a negative effect, Dubick said. "The body has only a finite amount of clotting factors, and a large volume of fluids can dilute those clotting factors, which reduces their ability to slow down or stop the bleeding."

Under the new standard of care, fluid resuscitation with salt solutions is limited, which keeps the blood pressure from rising too high and "popping" newly formed blood clots. Additionally, blood volume is restored using plasma as the primary resuscitation fluid, along with packed red blood cells.

But rather than using the standard of four times the amount of red blood cells to plasma, "we use a ratio of 1:1 of plasma to red blood cells," Dubick said.

Dubick said early use of a clotting factor called rFVIIa has also been beneficial. The factor is normally used for hemophiliacs but has proven beneficial for severely injured warriors. Additionally, other blood products, such as platelets and cryoprecipitate, are used as needed.

The reduction in fluids not only increases the patient's short-term chances of survival, but also the long-term treatment since "there is less fluid built up in organs and surgeons have a better field of operation," Dubick said.

While the innovation is gaining recognition stateside, the invention has already had a striking impact downrange on the survivability of severely injured Soldiers in the field, decreasing the mortality rate from 65 to 17 percent.

The impact of this change in the standard of care is so striking, Dubick said, that "some liken this standard of care to the first time someone applied antibiotics."

The military innovation is also gaining civilian attention.

"We've met with over 26 civilian centers and are working with 16 of them," Dubick said.

As word of the lifesaving measure begins to spread, Dubick and his fellow scientists are already looking ahead to future innovations. They are working with a company to produce freeze-dried plasma, which would eliminate plasma's limited shelf-life and temperature requirements downrange.

Additionally, they would like to develop a shelf-stable artificial blood with clotting factors that would enable medics to provide early intervention at the site of injury, Dubick said.

"The majority of patients bleed to death in the first five to 10 minutes," Dubick said. "We believe that procedures like this one can save Soldiers who survive beyond 10 minutes; keep them alive long enough to get to the hospital and to surgery. It's a remarkable innovation."

Dubick's team for the project includes Jill Sondeen and Charles Wade, from ISR; Philip Spinella, Brooke Army Medical Center; Maj. Jeremy Perkins, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Air Force Maj. Matthew Borgman, Wilford Hall Medical Center; and Col. John Holcomb, commander, ISR.

The invention was the only medical innovation to make the Army's Top Ten cut, and marks the third out of the last four years that the ISR has made it to the Top Ten list. The winning programs are selected based on their impact on Army capabilities, inventiveness and potential benefit outside the Army.
Proximo said:
Highly precise, not accurate. And we have used them.
You say we've used them, but does that mean we've purchased some ourselfs or just robbed them from the yanks when they were'nt looking? :D
Bravo_Bravo said:
No 10 = wow. Huge improvement in survivability; UOR?
Damage Control Resuscitation is a clinical treatment paradigm and philosophy that has been used within the UK Defence Medical Services since 2007. The UK military definition and paradigm differs from the US, but essentially it seeks and achieves the same end - reducing mortality in the severely injured.

For those who want to leatrn more, may I suggest you obtain the Combat Casualty Care edition of the Journal of the RAMC, Volume 153 No 4 December 2007. The appropriate article may be found at page 299 - 300.

Damage Control Resuscitation Link
Biggles4221 said:
Proximo said:
Highly precise, not accurate. And we have used them.
You say we've used them, but does that mean we've purchased some ourselfs or just robbed them from the yanks when they were'nt looking? :D
We were given them by Uncle Sam. Far too expensive old boy...

Now, Loitering Munitions on the other hand...highly precise and all that. And cheap! Plus you don't have to worry about the thing failing to acquire a signal, switching itself off or just ploughing into the deck.
Proximo said:
We were given them by Uncle Sam. Far too expensive old boy...
Stop supporting the chavs, pikeys, useless cnuts and the NHS and maybe you guys could afford some fit kit :D
Proximo said:
Now, Loitering Munitions on the other hand...highly precise and all that. And cheap! Plus you don't have to worry about the thing failing to acquire a signal, switching itself off or just ploughing into the deck.
Let's not get too carried away, LMs will still be fallible for any number of reasons.

As for not ploughing into the deck, what else will you do with them if they are running out of fuel, the expected target didn't appear and there are no targets of opportunity?

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