Military HMMWV Gunner Shields

The hardtop HMMWV models were manufactured with a roof hatch with a turret ring for a machine gun. Early HMMWVs used this mounting with the gunner in a exposed position, but experience in combat led to the adoption of gunner shields in several forms to protect the gunner while maintaining situational awareness.

U.S. Army Up-Armored HMMWV with a 7.62mm M240G machine gun and gunner's shield mounted on the roof, Logistics Support Area Anaconda, near Balad Air Base, Iraq, 26 April 2004
U.S. Army M1114 Up-armored HMMWV with a M240G 7.62mm Machine Gun and gunner's shield mounted on the roof, Logistics Support Area Anaconda, near Balad Air Base, Iraq, 26 April 2004.

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High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Gunner Shields

M240B 7.62mm Machine Gun with Gunner's Shield kit
M240B 7.62mm Machine Gun with Gunner's Shield kit.

Hardtop HMMWVs have a roof hatch with a machine gun ring mount. In order to provide the gunner with front protection and some side protection from small-arms fire, the Gunner's Shield was developed for use with the HMMWV Crew Served Weapons:

Although the Gunner's Shield was originally designed only for the M1114 Up-armored HMMWV, it can also be used on the hardtop, Armament Carrier models including M966/A1, M1025/A1/A2, M1026/A1, M1036, M1043/A1/A2, M1044/A1, M1045/A1/A2 and M1046/A1.

The weapon shield kit (NSN 2510-01-498-4996) contains the shield, brackets, adapters, hardware and installation instructions.

The weapon shield weighs 116 pounds and must be considered as part of the vehicle payload. Certain other parts may be required for installation: on the M1114, the vehicle must have the turret stop ring (NSN 2510-01-501-2691). To install the shield on an M1025/M1026 with a serial number prior to 189936, the improved turret lock ring (NSN 2590-01-192-4525) is a prerequisite.

There are other incompatibilities with existing equipment. For example, in 2005 it was noted that the AN/PEQ-2A aiming laser for the M240 7.62mm Machine Gun could not be used with the HMMWV Gunner's Shield. A mount extension L-bracket was developed and distributed during 2006 to provide a solution.

Transparent Armor Gun Shield (TAGS)

Gun shields provide gunner protection, but they also limit visibility and force the gunner to stand, exposed, to achieve situational awareness. During 2003-2004, BAE Systems North America, a Department of Defense contractor, created the Transparent Armor Gun Shield (TAGS) as an alternative to the steel shield. The TAGS can be mounted on the M1025, M1026, M1043, or M1044 Armament Carrier configurations of the HMMWV family to protect the gunner while providing increased visibility. The TAGS can also be mounted on other vehicles that support the universal gun mount.

The Army gradually adopted the TAGS concept (with 1,000 kits delivered early in 2006), but the Marine Corps moved faster. In September 2005, BAE Systems announced a contract to supply 1,000 TAGS kits to the USMC for installation on their HMMWVs and other vehicles, an amount later increased to 1,900 units. This was followed, in October 2006, with a further USMC contract for an additional 1,964 TAGS kits. Almost all the kits were for HMMWV installation with only about 100 used for other vehicles.

Some units devised their own transparent shields, from HMMWV windshields, while waiting for TAGS to be available through supply channels.

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