WMIK - Best kit for the job or are we being stiffed?

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#1
Hi Guys,

Recently Tpr Jack Sadler was killed in AFG whilst in a WMIK. His father is asking a couple of questions, noteably did his son die because of the government/MOD's failure to provide proper kit:

He emailed the following to a closed Facebook discussion forum on the subject, I'm not qualified to comment but if you've got anything to contribute then I hope his Dad will find either hope or a mission (if needed) out of it.
Subject: DISCUSSION BOARD TOPIC WIMIK "BOMBPROOF" LANDROVERS

Hello Everybody

I would like to ask you to consider the topic I have put on the discussion board and contribute to any debate that ensues,if you can.It may save other soldiers lives that would otherwise be senselessly wasted.

According to Owen Paterson MP, around 50 soldiers have been maimed while using these "Poor Man's Gunships".By maimed he means lost limbs ,lost eyes and lost lives .Prior to Jack ,it seems 5 other young blokes had been killed.I fear that poor Jack was terribly mutilated before he died.I know some of you may find this an unpalatable subject.But if a big enough fuss had been made previously then my son may be still around showing what a great bloke he was.I always said to Jack that it was not a soldier's duty to die for his country.The duty is to see that the Queen's enemies die for their respective countries.
and

Jack was operating in a " Wimik". Are these armoured? What protection do these vehicles have against a mine strike? In Oman we had sandbags on the floor of our vehicles to damp down the effect of a mine explosion and to reduce splinters.Does anybody know what precautions are taken nowadays? Is there any truth in the rumour circulating that armoured landrovers were given to the Iraqi police in preference to our lads?


JACK'S DAD
 
#2
Understandable though Jack's Dad's grief is, I fear he'll get no joy from following this course.

The WMIK is a high mobility light fire platform, it's not meant to be a tank. if it were a tank, it wouldn't be able to do its job as well.

From what I've heard of AFG, and seen in Iraq, WMIK can be a real battle -winning tool. Our job as soldiers is to seek out and combat the enemy; by its very definition a dangerous activity where some will die. You cannot make combat a risk free activity, and to try and make a dreadnought out of a Landrover will not make you safer, it will make you more vulnerable, as you will have lost mobility.

So I hope, for his sake, Mr Sadler will drop this line of enquiry, as IMHO it will do him no good and will do the soldiers no good.
 
#4
the vast majority of the WMIK's in AFG are in fact E-WMIK's (e standing for enhanced).

these vehicles do provide some protection from mine strikes, in that the underside does have v shaped plates, so that the blast is deflected away.
 
#5
Tha Taleban on Herrick 4 called them "porcupines' and hated them, they went for the top cover guy first in nearly all contact's. Adam Ingram visited us on H4 and I mentioned that I was about to embark to Musa Qalah in a WMIK (which I showed him) the armour plates provided for the vehicle were basterdised as best possible using 14gauge wire and 'harry black'. obviously this wasn't great. The point to take from it was we did not have the correct fitting equipment to secure the plates, however, I witnessed the incident that caused horrific injury to Ben Parkinson, if it wasn't for the blast matting in the floor of the vehicle the the injuries to that vehicle's occupants would have been catostrophic, as it was all 3 survived with there life. The vehicle as stated is a battle winning concept, and has been since LRDG and David Sterling pioneered them in 1942/43. It is now improved by the new WMIK which is heavier and has integral armour fitting points i'm led to believe.
 
#6
Re Snatch in Iraq. On T7 my unit did several trips to load new Snatch 2s onto low loaders and take them to SLB. They were clearly intended for the IPS as they were painted up. At that time, as far as I am aware, all units had Snatch availble to them, so it is not true that they were being dished out in prefrence. I dont know if the level of protection offered by these new snatch landys is any better than the much older ones most units used. I was told that the armoured tub is reclaimed off an older vehicle and refurbished before being fitted to a new vehicle, but cant qualify that.
 
#7
762baynet said:
Re Snatch in Iraq. On T7 my unit did several trips to load new Snatch 2s onto low loaders and take them to SLB. They were clearly intended for the IPS as they were painted up. At that time, as far as I am aware, all units had Snatch availble to them, so it is not true that they were being dished out in prefrence. I dont know if the level of protection offered by these new snatch landys is any better than the much older ones most units used. I was told that the armoured tub is reclaimed off an older vehicle and refurbished before being fitted to a new vehicle, but cant qualify that.
I'm not quite sure what 'snatch' has got to do with a WMIK thread??? Have i missed something? :?
 
#9
Some weeks ago there was a lengthy discussion on ARRSE where some parties (including Mr North) were slating the new MWMIK for being lightly protected. The other side of the argument put forward is that these vehicles are highly mobile, heavily armed (if lightly armoured) and that it isnt always a bad thing to NOT be hidden inside a big metal box.
Whilst i understand Tpr Saddler's father is grief stricken at his son's death, i am not convinced that that the majority of people who will now jump on the "WMIKs are death traps" band wagon actually know what they are talking about.
Yes armour/heavily protected vehicles have their place but that is NOT as a mobility platform out in the desert, for example. Whilst it was the case for a period of time that we may not have had the kit/protection needed/desired i firmly believe that, whilst it is a commander's responsibility to reduce the risk to his men as much as is practiceable, force protection has to be balanced with the ability to actually achieve an effect on the OPFOR....which means we cant all wear bomb-doctors suits and sit inside a CR2 with ERA just for the NAAFI run.
As has been stated many times before re MWMIK and now WMIK/EWMIK, the abiulity to move fast over some testing terrain whilst carrying and using some entertaining belt-fed toys (and having decent situational awareness) carries more weight with a lot of people than purely being a heavily potected target....plus you can always jump out of a WMIK in a hurry.
 
#10
Nothing is truley mine-proof. The Yanks lost an Abrahms MBT in Iraq a few years ago to a mine, we had a chally2 taken out by one.

I can understand Mr Sadler's feelings on this issue but there has to be a line between protection and agility and nothing is perfect. I fear that if he takes his campaigne to a higher level the media will simply use the death of his son as a stick with which to beat HMG.

I'm sure that this issue is being looked into, by everyone from the tom on the ground to the highest level, but these things do take time. hopefully just no to long.
 
#12
dutybooty said:
Some weeks ago there was a lengthy discussion on ARRSE where some parties (including Mr North) were slating the new MWMIK for being lightly protected. The other side of the argument put forward is that these vehicles are highly mobile, heavily armed (if lightly armoured) and that it isnt always a bad thing to NOT be hidden inside a big metal box.
Whilst i understand Tpr Saddler's father is grief stricken at his son's death, i am not convinced that that the majority of people who will now jump on the "WMIKs are death traps" band wagon actually know what they are talking about.
Yes armour/heavily protected vehicles have their place but that is NOT as a mobility platform out in the desert, for example. Whilst it was the case for a period of time that we may not have had the kit/protection needed/desired i firmly believe that, whilst it is a commander's responsibility to reduce the risk to his men as much as is practiceable, force protection has to be balanced with the ability to actually achieve an effect on the OPFOR....which means we cant all wear bomb-doctors suits and sit inside a CR2 with ERA just for the NAAFI run.
As has been stated many times before re MWMIK and now WMIK/EWMIK, the abiulity to move fast over some testing terrain whilst carrying and using some entertaining belt-fed toys (and having decent situational awareness) carries more weight with a lot of people than purely being a heavily potected target....plus you can always jump out of a WMIK in a hurry.
Couldn't have put it better myself!
 
#13
box-of-frogs said:
dutybooty said:
Some weeks ago there was a lengthy discussion on ARRSE where some parties (including Mr North) were slating the new MWMIK for being lightly protected. The other side of the argument put forward is that these vehicles are highly mobile, heavily armed (if lightly armoured) and that it isnt always a bad thing to NOT be hidden inside a big metal box.
Whilst i understand Tpr Saddler's father is grief stricken at his son's death, i am not convinced that that the majority of people who will now jump on the "WMIKs are death traps" band wagon actually know what they are talking about.
Yes armour/heavily protected vehicles have their place but that is NOT as a mobility platform out in the desert, for example. Whilst it was the case for a period of time that we may not have had the kit/protection needed/desired i firmly believe that, whilst it is a commander's responsibility to reduce the risk to his men as much as is practiceable, force protection has to be balanced with the ability to actually achieve an effect on the OPFOR....which means we cant all wear bomb-doctors suits and sit inside a CR2 with ERA just for the NAAFI run.
As has been stated many times before re MWMIK and now WMIK/EWMIK, the abiulity to move fast over some testing terrain whilst carrying and using some entertaining belt-fed toys (and having decent situational awareness) carries more weight with a lot of people than purely being a heavily potected target....plus you can always jump out of a WMIK in a hurry.
Couldn't have put it better myself!
Exactly, it is a shame that sometimes these quotes dont make it to the press!
 
#14
It makes me chuckle though when they say it's a death trap...what, as opposed to those thousands of lead wasps flying towards you? YOU ARE FIGHTING A WAR!!!!!!
 
#15
And thats the point exactly - its feckin WAR - I'd like to how many folk we'd be mourning the loss of if we HADN'T been using WMIK et'al for all this time. As has been rightly pointed out - most folk have no appreciation of how war is actually fought and with that comes the lack of understanding that in reality the WMIK is actually a weapon in itself and when used correctly can be pivotal in many engagements actually saving far more lives than have been lost by its operators.

Stop looking to blame the tools and start blaming the enemy. These guys died doing the very best they could with a tool that is perfectly suited to the role its in, lets not have their memory besmirched by turning their loss into some grotesque points scoring scenario that is, ultimately, futile anyway.......

As my good mate Clint Eastwood once said "War's hell boy and thats a fact."
 
#16
Basic AFV theory.. You can have firepower, mobilty or protection. Any design will be a compromise, partularly between mobilty and protection.

WMIK is probably about right for what it does, provided it is not misused. There are places where mobility is not going to help such as in urban areas and in and around the paddy fields in the green zone, where you do need the armour, and where MASTIFF is called for..

That said, MASTIFF is like a (slightly) mobile block of flats, and is probably not that useful as a fire platform. (but not my area of expertise..)

As has been said, NOTHING is absolutely mineproof, even vehicles like rhinos (which are too top heavy anyway...). I have had some experience of dealing with minestruck vehicles, and the whole thing is a lottery. It all depends on where and how you hit the mine, mine type and quantity, fuzing. Also where you are standing, what you are wearing, what kit is in the vehicle etc etc.. You can end up walking away, pink mist or any stage between...

Do not be fooled into taking "battleship" arguments with this, it leads nowhere.

IMHO what the lads need is good, reliable, equipment which is properly maintained and supported. This will gives maximum flexibility and dependability, which in the end of the day will save more lives than any over engineered magic technical solutions...

My message to Jack's dad is - don't go there mate... there are causes worth going for, but this ain't one....

(Same message to North BTW..)
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#17
Battsimm said:
And thats the point exactly - its feckin WAR - I'd like to how many folk we'd be mourning the loss of if we HADN'T been using WMIK et'al for all this time. As has been rightly pointed out - most folk have no appreciation of how war is actually fought and with that comes the lack of understanding that in reality the WMIK is actually a weapon in itself and when used correctly can be pivotal in many engagements actually saving far more lives than have been lost by its operators.

Stop looking to blame the tools and start blaming the enemy. These guys died doing the very best they could with a tool that is perfectly suited to the role its in, lets not have their memory besmirched by turning their loss into some grotesque points scoring scenario that is, ultimately, futile anyway.......

As my good mate Clint Eastwood once said "War's hell boy and thats a fact."
That said, its reasonable that a father should seek to make sure his son had the best of the best or reasonably close, which is, it appears, what is being said.
 
#18
Its been discussed before .It has been designed for a certain role .If its used in that role its succesfull .In other roles it wont be .We now have a wide variety of vechicles in thearte hopefully they are being used as nesscary .
 
#19
Details of EWIMK were published in the Winter 2007 issue of Kit magazine, which is available on the web: see page 10 of http://www.army.mod.uk/linkedfiles/ceso/trained_soldiers/kit_magazine/kit62_hi_res.pdf

As detailed in the article, the armour is known as MAPIK and is made by Jankel: MAPIK link

But that is probably the limit of what you can find with Google. For fairly obvious reasons of Opsec, no-one with any inside knowledge about vehicle protection is going to discuss it on an open forum.

My heart goes out to Jack Sadler's father for his loss. It's sad but true that some grieving relatives look for potential equipment shortfalls as a focus for their grief and to try to give some meaning to their loved one's death. But as has been pointed out above, EWIMIK is designed for a particular job and does it well.

Dr North's campaign for 'v-shaped hull vehicles' is also misguided. As has been pointed out to him on the other thread, v-hulls have their place, just not for everything!
 
#20
Gun_Nut said:
My heart goes out to Jack Sadler's father for his loss. It's sad but true that some grieving relatives look for potential equipment shortfalls as a focus for their grief and to try to give some meaning to their loved one's death. But as has been pointed out above, EWIMIK is designed for a particular job and does it well.
I failed to put that very sentiment in my post, for which I apologise wholeheartedly.

I just despair though that the IA drill for UK citizens these days is to instantly launch into an attack on the gov't, (I'm not saying they don't deserve it and are complete innocents in all of this - not by a bloody long way), or the MoD. There is a very real enemy out there that our colleagues are fighting every day in other parts of the world in order that we don't have to fight them here. The very first place that any rage/disgust/blame/mistrust/hatred should be aimed is at that enemy, surely? If we could begin to do that as a counrty united we'd be a hell of a lot closer to ending the whole shebang a lot sooner than we will as we are now......