New 'armored sandbags' stop bullets, RPGs and mortars

McCurdy's Armor is a new "armored wall" system that could make cumbersome sandbags a thing of the past. While a shield of bags can offer protection from bullets, they don't do so well against a blast — not to mention a mortar can be lobbed right over them.

Described by its creator Dynamic Defense Materials, McCurdy's Armor is a "LEGO type system" that "provides protection for operators while still providing full situational awareness through transparent armor." The comparison to LEGOs comes from the fact that the Armor can be assembled quickly by two to four soldiers working together, and it's modular, so it can take on different shapes and sizes. Extra layers can even be added for more protection, and all the pieces can be carried or stacked onto a truck for easy transport. The best part? No tools required.

The typical sandbag fort right now consists of sandbag walls, with a covering overhead. With McCurdy's Armor, there would be complete coverage against weapons fire save for one side, and the high walls would help against mortars. There are also bullet-proof windows that can open and close, allowing troops to fire out of protected gun ports.

The Marines have invested almost $800,000 in the project, named for Ryan McCurdy, a Marine who died in 2006 in Afghanistan while trying to save a fellow wounded soldier.

DDM, via National Defense, via Pop Sci