An American firm (Navistar) has received another truck order for the Afghan military. This is part of the aid America supplies to Afghanistan, which has the lowest GDP per capita in Eurasia and is unable to afford the kind of security forces it needs to survive. Navistar has supplied over 9,000 medium and heavy trucks to the Afghan armed forces since 2005 and those vehicles were well received. The new order is for 2,293 vehicles each costing an average of $161,000. All will be based on the International WorkStar/7000 truck chassis. This chassis is normally used for commercial trucks and tractors (for hauling trailers) of up to 34 tons. The chassis can have up to four axles (three of them powered) and uses diesel engines. One novel use of the WorkStar/7000 chassis was the Navistar MaxxPro MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected), a 13 ton armored truck. Some 9,000 MaxxPros were built and many saw service in Afghanistan.
The new truck order for the Afghan forces will include versions of the WorkStar/7000 chassis equipped as troop and cargo carriers, fuel tankers and wreckers. The MaxxPro was popular in Afghanistan because it was designed to handle the rough terrain and many unpaved roads found there and succeeded at that. The trucks based on the WorkStar/7000 chassis have a similar reputation. The only problem is the shortage of mechanics and other motor vehicle technicians to maintain these vehicles. That is partially solved by hiring expensive foreign contractors and spending a lot of money to find and train suitable Afghans. The military has a hard time holding on to these mechanics because the money is better in the civilian firms or overseas. The Taliban and drug gangs will often just abandon a vehicle that breaks down because of the general shortage of people qualified and equipped to do repairs.