Pentagon Rushing Mine-Resistant Vehicles to Afghanistan

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
M-ATV (photo: Oshkosh)

Wanting better protection for American soldiers from roadside bombs and other attacks, the U.S. military is rushing the delivery of special “mine-resistant, ambush-protected” (or MRAP) vehicles to Afghanistan. But some variations of the MRAP are still vulnerable to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used by insurgents, and all of the specially-crafted vehicles can be destroyed by a growing new threat used by the enemy.

To meet the demands of a new U.S. Army directive ordering all soldiers to use MRAPs when driving outside military bases in eastern Afghanistan, the Defense Department has stepped up purchases of Oshkosh’s MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), which is lighter and more nimble than earlier versions of the MRAP. 
“But what the M-ATVs gain in agility, they give up in protection against IEDs,” according to embed Christian Lowe. “Soldiers here say the M-ATV protects against roadside bombs better than an up-armored Humvee, but not much.”
Another concern stems from the fact that M-ATVs and other MRAPs are vulnerable to armor-piercing rocket-propelled grenades that insurgents are using. To try and thwart such attacks, the military has ordered $235 million in “protection kits” that can be fitted to vehicles. Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corporation, which builds “specialty trucks,” has received $5 billion worth of contracts for more than 8,000 M-ATVs, upgrade kits, spare parts and support.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
MRAPs Take Over for Humvees Off Base (by Christian Lowe,


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