Marines Reduce MRAP Order to 2,300 Vehicles

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The US Marine Corps decided to cut their planned Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle order by 1,400 vehicles, settling for about 2,300 vehicles to equip currently deployed forces in Iraq. The stated reason for the decision is the reduced violence in Iraq and the vehicle's mobility issues, restricting its movement in theater. Other considerations could derive from the difficulty to support the outsized vehicle with current or future naval transportation vessels. The reduction in MRAP orders could save the corps $1.7 billion. (More...)

Gen. James Conway, the Marine Corps commandant, said that improvised explosive device attacks are down sharply in western Iraq where most of the Marines operate. He also cited the inability to use the massive MRAPs for chasing terrorists in urban areas, off main roads, and over less stable bridges. For those reasons, the Marines need more armored Humvees, which are lighter and more mobile, Conway said. Ultimately, the Marines want to replace the Humvees with the JLTV.

Sofar the Marines procured the MRAP based on Force Protection Cougar armored vehicle. The Army plans to acquire 10,000 MRAPs, opting for the MaxPro produced by International and BAE Systems' RG33. The Army also bought heavy Buffalo vehicles from force protection, for route clearance. Special Operations Command has also ordered BAE Systems' RG-31s.

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