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Army offers hot meals as alternatives to MREs.

Seeking to improve the quality of life of soldiers in the field, the Army developed a compact cooking unit to prepare hot meals--a welcome relief for troops who generally survive on pre-packaged MREs.

The Remote Unit Self Heating Meal (RUSHM), designed by Natick Soldier Center, in Natick, Mass., offers a complete, hot meal for 18 soldiers.

RUSHM provides an ,alternative to the MRE individual pre-packaged combat ration. The food is heated in 30 minutes and served in trays.

An exothermic chemical reaction, similar to Natick's Flameless Ration Heater, provides the heat needed to raise the temperature of the food from 40 degrees F to 140 F. Heaters are sandwiched between three or four polymetric trays containing an entree, vegetable, starch and/or desert. By pulling a tab, a pouch of salt water floods the heaters and initiates the reaction.

For a possible future enhancement, Natick is exploring the use of endothermic reactions for chilling beverages and other items.
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Title Annotation:tech talk
Publication:National Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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