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MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV)
The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) is a new, smaller MRAP variant in a separate category within the MRAP family of vehicles. Its mission is small unit combat operations in highly restricted, rural, mountainous and urban environments, including mounted patrols, reconnaissance, security, convoy protection, communications, command and control, and combat service support. This category will carry up to five personnel – four plus a gunner. The M-ATV is meant to augment the vehicle fleet to transport troops where they need to go safely, a survivable alternative to up-armored HMMWVs.
MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) History
In the summer of 2008, the US Department of Defense (DoD) began to examine the possibility of developing and procuring a lighter-weight, all-terrain capable MRAP variant to address the poor roads and extreme terrain of Afghanistan. This new vehicle -- designated the MRAP-All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) -- was intended to weigh between 7 to 10 tons, as opposed to the 14 to 24 tons of the previous MRAP variants, with better off-road mobility. Source selection activity considered responses to a Request for Information/Market Survey dated 21 August 2008. In early December 2008, a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued with DoD officials suggesting that as many as 10,000 M-ATVs could be procured, but a more likely estimate was 2,080 vehicles, in addition to all other MRAP requirements.
M-ATV was a high-priority, accelerated-acquisition program supporting Overseas Contingency Operations (ie, the Global War on Terrorism.) In late February 2009, prototypes were delivered to Aberdeen Proving Grounds for evaluation. Production level vehicles were delivered in May. In June 2009 DoD announced the award of an initial production delivery order to Oshkosh Corporation for the M-ATV, with the first deliveries to units in Afghanistan by the end of 2009.
However, the Marine Corps moved on its own to retro-fit Category I and II MRAPs that they already had with a new suspension system at a fraction of the cost of newer M-ATVs. The Marines claimed that this was a more cost-effective approach to the operational need for lighter and more maneuverable MRAPs for Afghanistan. The Marines were satisfied with the performance of these retro-fitted MRAPs and, as of mid-2009, intended to reduce their participation in the M-ATV procurement.
MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) Description
The MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) design requirement was survivability at the same high levels as other MRAP family vehicles integrated with off-road mobility in support of the warfighters mission. That is, M-ATV combines MRAP-like survivability with HMMWV-like mobility. The Oshkosh contract M-ATV is derived from the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) platform, and incorporates the proprietary TAK-4® independent suspension system.
In many combat areas, the lack of established roads requires the M-ATV be moderately lighter than other MRAP vehicles. The primary mission of the M-ATV is to provide protected ground mobility capable of operating in a threat environment involving ambushes employing the use of mines, improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, explosively formed penetrators, and small-arms fire. The M-ATV vehicle with add-on kits provide the performance necessary for that mission.
Specifications provided by Oshkosh Corporation (M-ATV 8/09).