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.