The Buffalo features all-round protection, including the windows and roof, against 7.62 x 51mm ball small arms fire. It can withstand up to 45 lbs. of TNT under any wheel or 30 lbs. under the V-shaped centerline. With slat armor added, the Buffalo is additionally resistant to RPGs, grenades, or other attacks.
US Army 759th Explosive Ordnance Disposal team Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle (MPCV) during an improvised explosive device (IED) training exercise at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA, 20 June 2005.
The heavyweight Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle (MPCV) truck is over nine feet high, nearly 27 feet long, and weighs about 24 tons. A prominent feature is the front-mounted 30-foot long, remote controlled hydraulic arm tipped with a "spork" (spoon/fork) also called "the Claw." The robotic arm enables the Buffalo crew to handle suspicious items from a distance. The arm includes an armored day/night video camera that allows the team to closely and safely investigate anything the arm can reach. Here is a video of the Buffalo along with other MRAP vehicles:
The Buffalo has a crew of two plus has seating for four EOD engineers and room for all their gear. The crew is protected and well-treated with features including comfortable seats, spacious cabs, air conditioning, individual rifle racks and blast-proof windows.
The curb weight of the Buffalo is 43,000 lbs. with a max payload of 27,000 pounds. It has run-flat tires and CTIS. The engine gets between 7 and 8 mpg on diesel fuel and can burn JP-8 with downgraded performance.
Procurement of the Buffalo from Force Protection Inc. began slowly, causing great financial strain on the company. The USMC had procured only four of these vehicles as of late 2005. But by the end of 2006, a total of 137 Buffalos had been ordered by the Army and Marine Corps. With the accelerated procurement in 2007, many more will be shipped. The original Buffalo front suspension was found to be inadequate for the rough terrain of Afghanistan, resulting in a design upgrade to the springs and a retrofit program for Buffalos already deployed.
Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle (MPCV) with hydraulic arm extended, Iraq.
Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle (MPCV) from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Team 8 along a highway in southern Iraq, July 2005. Note the size difference of the HMMWV visible on the left.
Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle (MPCV) with slat armor installed.
Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle (MPCV) with hydraulic arm extended, Ft Leonard Wood, MO, March 2006.