Armor: MaxxPro Marches On


June 22, 2011:  The U.S. Department of Defense has ordered another 471 MaxxPro MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles, at a cost of $758,000 each. These will be used in Afghanistan. The MaxxPro Dash was designed for use in Afghanistan, thus they are lighter (14 tons), shorter and have the engine and drive train tweaked to provide more power. Thousands of MaxxPro Dash models are headed for Afghanistan, or are already there. Like most MRAPs, MaxxPro Dash cost about a million dollars each, fully equipped and delivered to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the United States is putting more MRAP vehicles (per thousand soldiers) in Afghanistan, than it had in Iraq. Nearly all the combat forces in Iraq were American, so U.S. troops got most of the MRAPs. But in Afghanistan, a third of the 148,000 foreign troops are non-U.S. NATO. As the U.S. put more troops into Afghanistan, that went down to 30 or 25 percent for NATO, and there were a lot of allied troops lacking MRAPs (usually because they can't afford them). So the U.S.  stepped in to provide protection. Some Afghan Army units will also get American MRAPs, especially those Afghan troops operating with foreign troops (who are the primary target for the bombs and mines.) Ultimately, nearly as many MRAPs will be in Afghanistan as were in Iraq.

For two years now, the U.S. has been shifting its MRAP vehicle deliveries from Iraq (where nearly 10,000 were delivered) to Afghanistan (where over 5,000 have been flown in so far). In the face of increasing Taliban use of roadside bombs, MRAPs are seen as a way to keep U.S. and NATO casualties down. Some MRAPs originally headed for Iraq, are being diverted to Afghanistan. The main delivery limitation is the need to fly the MRAPs in, and that requires a large aircraft (C-17, C-5 or leased Russian equivalents.)





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