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Why the US Army Is Buying Foam Goats


(Photo: Haley Cartwright)

Time magazine reports that the Army needs realistic-looking foam goat props. It also needs realistic dogs, cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, fish, and eggs (both brown and white), as well as tables and chairs.

That's because the Army wants to make training environments as realistic as possible. Ideally, a simulation area looks exactly like the actual combat environment, down to the last detail. Time quotes the bid request:

The entire herd and all the goods “shall be made of fire retardant foam and will be the size of actual item counterpart,” the Army says. “They will be colored to look like actual item counterpart.”

But war, of course, is not all fun and games. “The contractor shall develop and implement procedures to identify, prevent, and ensure delivery serviceable items,” the service warns. “The contractor shall be held liable for any unserviceable or defective items received.” That’s because, for want of a foam goat’s head, the battle could be lost.

-via VA Viper


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I expect that for a simulated combat environment foam animals that look real from corner of one's eyes are sufficient.
To get "furry" animals there are still the options of teddy bear manufacturers and taxidermists...

or search the net for:

stuffed animals "life like"
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Thank you! I wouldn't have had a clue how to find them. Probably would have spent a couple of hours figuring out how to put such a search into the right words.
Although now that I have seen the animals they are not what I was expecting. The picture in the article looks real. Those targets at those sites are just plastic. Not soft and furry...
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I think manufacturers get the specs first, and then retool to make what the military wants -because they buy SO MUCH of it. If we are lucky, there may be some surplus, or else they'll make enough to sell on the side!
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Where can I buy a foam goat? Or a cow or a dog? I would love to see their catalogue of animals and the prices. Anyone know who makes them?
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