The men and women fighting the wars in the Middle East encounter a number of dangers during their deployment. From improvised explosive devices (IED’s) to skilled ambushes and unorthodox fighting styles. The United States military must be prepared for just about everything.
In recent years, ISIS combatants have even resorted to crudely imitating the weapons and machinery used by the U.S. The so-called “junkyard armor” vehicles roam the deserts of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria as makeshift weapons and protection for militants in the hopes of improving their chances against the strongest military force in the world.
The vehicles, looking more like movie props from Mad Max than high-tech military weapons, are often crudely fashioned with steel plates, stolen armor or other parts and pieces that are found on the battlefield. While some vehicles in ISIS’s arsenal may, in fact, be real military equipment, either old outdated gear or equipment stolen from another country, often times the extremists will bring their own homemade tanks to battle.
Check out some of the makeshift tanks and weapons in the YouTube video below:
A majority of the “tanks” in the video can be classified as machines with improved vehicle armor. The armor is usually crudely installed and attempts to encapsulate the important bits of the vehicle underneath – including the crew.
In the video, most of the tanks and other vehicles are box-shaped, mismatched crawlers akin to cardboard forts. But as uninspiring as they may appear, they still pack a punch with machine guns, rockets and other armament hiding beneath their unfortunate looking exterior.
The video offers some information on the vehicles it showcases and describes a few as military equipment that received the junkyard treatment in improvements. Some of the pictures show military-grade BTS-5B tanks fashioned with some extra armor. However, most of what is featured include dump trucks, pick-up trucks and delivery vehicles surrounded by steel plates.
While it may be easy to mock ISIS’s efforts in creating comparable combat vehicles, the extremists are not the only ones guilty of making some self-improvements to their gear. The U.S. military often relies on improvised vehicle armor when they are in a pinch.
“Hillbilly armor” or “hajji armor” is often installed by Iraqi contractors onto Humvees and other vehicles for the U.S. military when repairs are needed quickly.