A group of American aeronautical engineers have developed an innovate design change for hummers that make these vehicles as resistant to the blast effect of roadside bombs, as an MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle weighing more than twice as much. The solution was a chimney, made of lightweight, but very strong, material, that vents most of the bomb blast upward, sparing the crew. Five tests, using actual bombs, have proved the idea works. The new hummer also has a V shaped underbody, but still costs less than a third as much as an MRAP with the same carrying capacity. The Department of Defense wants to conduct more tests before building prototypes for testing in Afghanistan.
This new development gives hummers a new lease on life. Because of the roadside bomb danger, hummers have only been allowed to operate inside bases or in safe areas (that's actually most of Afghanistan, but not the areas where most American troops are operating, and fighting the Taliban.) All this is part of a decade long effort to make the hummer safe to use in the face of widespread use of roadside bombs.