Confederate Yankee decided to get to the bottom of the controversy over Reuters’ claim that one of its armored vehicles was hit by an Israeli rocket or missile strike, injuring several of its employees, by sending photos of the vehicle to some people who should know how to interpret them: the manufacturers of such armored vehicles. Somewhat to my surprise, he got two responses to his emails.
The first, from a representative of Inkas Armored Vehicle Manufacturing, was short and to the point:
Looking at the picture received through the link on your email, the damage on the vehicle was sustained very long time ago and probably not by the rocket, or it was already tempered [sic] with[.]
The second response, from the chairman and CEO of First Defense International Group, which “has armored vehicles deployed in the Middle East and has professional knowledge of Israeli weaponry,” was more detailed:
In my expert opinion the damage, the hole is NOT consistent of a Hellfire Missile or a 70mm rocket nor any armoured piercing bullet/trajectory.
The Reuters armoured van would only be armoured to threat level IV which would consist of 8mm of High Hard 4140 Steel armouring on the roof which you can see in the picture as peeled open somewhat. The damage to the roof looks to me very consistent with possible shrapnel penetration from an object other than a rocket or missile itself.
Furthermore the armored glass would be 62mm for threat level IV protection against blasts and armour piercing rounds. The damage to the back window is certainly NOT consistent with any missile, bomb, rocket blast that would have occurred on impact if a rocket was fired around and directly at the vehicle.
This individual went on to note that if if a rocket or missile exploded in close proximity to the vehicle, not only would there be potential pentration by shrapnel, there would also be damage from the force of the blast, as shown in this photo:
Such blast damage is not visible in any of the pictures of the Reuters vehicle.
Finally, this expert said that the photo of the interior of the vehicle does not show damage consistent with a rocket or missile attack “of any kind.”
I would think that a forensic examination of the vehlcle could answer the outstanding questions once and for all, and either validate or refute the claims made by Reuters. Clearly, there is enough doubt about those claims to warrant a full investigation.