By David Crane
defrev at gmail dot com
July 11, 2008
U.S. troops are having to contend with new improvised weapons known as Improvised Rocket-Assisted Munitions a.k.a. Improvised Rocket Assisted Mortars, or IRAMs for short. IRAMs a.k.a. "aerial IEDs" are configured in linear arrays in the backs of tractor-trailer trucks and are comprised of metal cannisters that contain the 107mm rocket-assisted munitions, and from which they’re launched. IRAMs are launched via remote control.
Since an IRAM is ground-launched in an arced trajectory, it can be launched over barrier walls that surround security zones and U.S. military bases. This aspect, combined with the relatively large explosion and barrage capability, make IRAMs…
a particularly dangerous threat.
According to U.S. military officials, IRAMs "have the potential to kill scores of soldiers at once," more than conventional mortars, rockets, or roadside IEDs.
"IRAM attacks could be very tragic against us," said Col. William Hickman, the commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division, who is working in Baghdad. "We take them very seriously."
Most of the attacks, so far, have occured inside Baghdad.