The Marine Corps is deploying the first round of mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles (M-ATVs) to Afghanistan, a quick three months after a delivery order was awarded.
The new vehicles are an improvement over conventional mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs), because they’re smaller and handle rough terrain better than their counterparts. Because of Afghanistan’s mountainous landscape, the larger MRAPs have difficulty navigating in many areas.
MRAP vehicles feature a V-shaped hull to deflect roadside bombs, and are proven to be lifesavers on the battlefield.
“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 Defense Department has ordered more than 4,300 of the all-terrain mine-resistant trucks, and another 1,400 are planned.
(From a Marine Corps Systems Command news release)