February 22, 2007 The U.S. military is exploring ways to help troops in combat rapidly escape from up-armored vehicles in the event of an emergency, such as a rollover, fire or accident. The VEE Window enables crews of HMMWVs and other tactical vehicles to remove windows in less than five seconds to provide another way to rapidly exit the vehicle in the event of an emergency situation. BAE Systems is offering its Vehicle Emergency Escape (VEE) Window to help increase the survivability of soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. BAE Systems’ goal is to work with the Army to have the first unit equipped with this device by summer 2007.
“We hope no soldier or Marine has to experience this type of situation, but if they do, we believe the VEE Window is an affordable, practical tool that can increase survivability by providing them another way to exit the vehicle,” said Jim Unterseher, BAE Systems’ vice president of Army Programs in Minneapolis.
VEE Window kits can be fielded to units in Iraq and Afghanistan within 90 days after a contract is issued. Kit installation can be performed in the field by Army and Marine maintenance personnel in approximately one hour.
The VEE Window is easy to use and install and is adaptable to virtually any tactical up-armored combat vehicle, such as the Army's Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles or the Marine's Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement. The kit for the M1114 HMMWV consists of modified transparent armor assemblies, or bullet-proof windshields, with integral, fail-safe latch mechanisms.
The kit provides the same level of ballistic protection as the current vehicle configuration but with the added latch feature allowing the soldier to rapidly escape during an emergency. The rotary latch mechanism has integral safety interlocks, is easy to operate and the process for releasing the window takes less than five seconds. In the event of a vehicle emergency, a crew member simply turns the two latches and pushes the window out allowing the crew to quickly climb out of the vehicle.