Continuous Army innovation yields improved gunner protection

OGPK in Afghanistan

Chances are, if a warfighter has deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, they are famil­iar with the Objec­tive Gun­ner Pro­tec­tion Kit, or OGPK. 

With more than 45,000 of these sys­tems fielded to date, the OGPK is a standard-issue equip­ment piece for the Army’s tac­ti­cal gun­ner vehi­cles — from up-armored Humvees in Oper­a­tion New Dawn in Iraq and Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom in Afghanistan, as well as Mine Resis­tant Ambush Pro­tected (MRAP) vehicles. 

The OGPK is an inte­grated armor and bal­lis­tic glass tur­ret that is mounted onto the tur­ret ring of tac­ti­cal and armored vehi­cles. The kit con­sists of a tur­ret shield, gun shield and all nec­es­sary hard­ware for mount­ing the sys­tem to the vehicle. 

But what many Sol­diers may not know is how exactly the OGPK came to fruition — or fur­ther, which Army teams were respon­si­ble for devel­op­ing this life­sav­ing product. 

As the lead design agency, Armament Research Development and Engineering Center or ARDEC, lever­aged its exper­tise in lethal sys­tems, includ­ing crew served weapons and tar­get des­ig­na­tion sys­tems, to ensure the full per­for­mance capa­bil­ity of the Humvee Tur­ret Gun­ner, while also enhanc­ing sur­viv­abil­ity and con­fi­dence for bat­tle­field mis­sion effec­tive­ness,” said Lead Design Engi­neer Thomas J. Kiel.

Sol­diers loved it so much, in fact, that the OGPK was named one of the Army’s top 10 Great­est Inven­tions for the year it was fielded in 2007.

But the inno­va­tion didn’t stop there. The ARDEC team used lessons learned in the devel­op­ment and deploy­ment of the OGPK to rapidly design and fab­ri­cate pro­to­types for addi­tional capa­bil­i­ties, includ­ing an Over­head Cover and an Objec­tive Weapon Ele­va­tion Kit. These two inven­tions were also named Army Great­est Inven­tions of 2008 and 2009.

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