The new light-weight MRAP-type vehicles will be deployed beginning next month:
The vehicles have a blast-resistant V-shaped hull and are designed to provide MRAP-level protection for troops while offering more mobility than existing MRAPs, which can weigh between 32,000 and 45,000 pounds when empty. The new vehicles are smaller and weigh less than 25,000 pounds, making them more useful in Afghanistan’s uneven, rural terrain.
The initial MRAP deliveries will be made about three months after Army Tank-Automotive and Armament Command signed a $1.05 billion contract with Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense to supply 2,244 vehicles. Since then, the requirement for M-ATVs has tripled to 6,644 vehicles, and contracts have been awarded for 4,321, with additional buys expected soon, Irwin said.