Armor: Free MRAPs For Egypt

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May 31, 2016: The United States is donating 750 MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles to Egypt and these began arriving in early 2016. Most (400) of them will be one of the original designs the U.S. bought. This is the Cougar which is a 12 ton truck that is hardened to survive bombs and mines and comes in two basic versions. The four wheel one can carry ten passengers, the six wheel one can carry 16. Egypt is getting the 6x6 models. New, Cougars cost about $730,000 each, fully equipped. The rest of the MRAPs will be one of the later models, the RG-33, which is part of a family of similar vehicles. The RG31 came first (in 2007). Also called Nyala, it was developed and built in South Africa. It normally costs about a million dollars each (depending on accessories) and was developed from the earlier Mamba armored personnel carrier and has an excellent track record. This wheeled (4x4) vehicle weighs eight tons and can carry up to eleven people. Some models, depending on equipment carried, only seat five.

Since 2003 the U.S. bought some 20,000 MRAPs at a cost of $45 billion. Once American troops were out of Iraq many of these vehicles were found unsuitable for Afghanistan, where there are fewer roads and a special MRAP design was found more suitable. Eventually, most of these armored trucks will be out of work. Current plans are to put at least half of these vehicles into storage. About ten percent of them (the oldest and most beat up) will be scrapped and the rest will be donated (to American police departments and foreign armed forces) or used for training. The only downside is that MRAPs are expensive to operate. The U.S. has given or sold MRAPs to allies who participate in peacekeeping operations or are fighting Islamic terrorists. MRAPs are ideal for areas where bandits or terrorists are a threat (via mines and roadside bombs).

Egypt is also getting a dozen heavy tow trucks equipped to recover MRAPs that broke down or were disabled in combat.

 


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