WASHINGTON: With unprecedented speed, the first of thousands of mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles known as M-ATVs — are being deployed to Afghanistan just three months after a delivery order was awarded.
Conventional MRAP vehicles feature a V-shaped hull to deflect roadside bombs, and are proven to be lifesavers on the battlefield. The procurement of the M-ATV grew from an urgent requirement to provide troops a smaller and more maneuverable vehicle that can travel off-road and navigate Afghanistan’s difficult, mountainous terrain, Marine Corps Systems Command officials said.
“We have pulled out all the stops to collapse the schedule and get these vehicles into theater,” said Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Michael M. Brogan, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command and joint program executive officer of the MRAP program. “We are doing everything that’s required to ensure that they are safe, that the risk assessments are complete, [and] that they’re fully integrated and flown into Afghanistan.”
The M-ATV supports small-unit combat operations in highly restricted rural, mountainous and urban environments that include mounted patrols, reconnaissance, security, convoy protection, communications, command and control, and combat service support. It is designed to replace the up-armored Humvee in Afghanistan. The M-ATV will carry up to five personnel: four plus a gunner.
The Defense Department has ordered more than 4,300 of the all-terrain mine-resistant trucks, and another 1,400 are planned. Oshkosh Corp. is producing the vehicles.