Clipped From The Galveston Daily News
GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2,1996 Aimy shows off $2 ambulance The Associated Press , FORT HOOD—The Army's 4th Infantry. Division has unveiled the latest in battlefield medicine: A prototype of a $2 million, 30-ton combat vehicle representing the first significant innovation in armored ambulances since the Vietnam War. The massive vehicle, being tested by Fort Hood soldierg, will be able to move wounded soldiers away from combat lines, withstand artillery fire, poisonous chemicals and radiation from nuclear bombs, Army officials say. "We're really getting state-of-the-art things to make sure soldiers live," said Capt. Dave Kay, senior physician assistant for his division and deputy division surgeon. "In a nutshell, this vehicle helps us keep up with the blitzkrieg." The Armored Treatment and Transport Vehicle is not scheduled to go into production until after March 1997. . Kay said that sophisticated medical backup "has an incredible impact on the morale of the troops." The ATTV will be tested in military drills from Fort Hood to Fort Irwin in California's Mojave Desert. Current ambulances, which date to the 1960s, carry four stretchers. Traveling up to 30 mph, they're not fast enough to beat a fast retreat from the front lines, officials say. The new ambulance would carry six patients, stacked three stretchers high, or 12 patients who are able to walk. That would leave room for medics to bandage the wounded and run intravenous lines, Kay said. He added that the vehicle's official speed is 46 mph but suggested it could travel faster, keeping up with fighting vehicles. But the new ambulance would come with a tradeoff. Despite large, red crosses painted on each side, the ambulance, built on a mobile rocket launcher chassis, could be mistaken for a fights ing vehicle, Kay said. Its size makes it easy to see and it cannot take a direct hit from a missile, he said. Ambulance statistics FORT HOOD — Here's a look at the Army's prototype combat ambulance : : Moves on track wheels at 45 mph. • Weight: about 30 tons. • Structure: Built on a mobile rocket-launcher chassis, the vehicte has walls 2 inches thick, built of enforced aluminum and lined with bulletproof Keviar. It can withstand 30-caliber armor rounds/ poisonous chemicals and radiation from nudear bombs.