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MRAP - Gearing up for Rough Rides - M-ATV. Image courtesy of Oshkosh defense

 

US Army, Marine Corps to Field dedicated All-Terrain MRAPs optimized for operations in Afghanistan

On 8 December 2008 the US Army Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) issued a request for proposal for a new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle class capable of operating off-road and over rough terrain. The new vehicle dubbed MRAP- ATV (M-ATV) is called to meet an approved Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement (JUONS), obtaining effective force protection and mobility performance for off-road missions including mounted patrols, convoy protection, reconnaissance, communications, and command and control.

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The main driver behind the new program is the lack of established roads, primarily in Afghanistan, severely restricting protected mobility and maneuverability of troops, exposing them to severe IED ambushes. The Pentagon has been seeking solutions for this problem since the initial fielding of MRAP in Afghanistan. The British forces came to the same conclusion, after deploying the MRAP-class 'Mastiff' in theater. While the Brits had also launched the less protected, but highly maneuverable Supacat all terrain wheeled Jackal and the Swedish BvS10 tracked, articulated vehicle Viking, US forces in theater had little 'lightweight' choice other than the RG-31 MRAP, and up-armored HMMWVs.

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March 2009

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