RG-33 MRAP

The RG-33 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) was developed by a South African subsidiary of BAE Systems, then modified/adapted for the U.S. military MRAP program. It is also referred to as the Medium Mine Protected Vehicle (MMPV) under an Army program of that name.

First prototype RG-33 vehicles for U.S. military use were delivered 26 January 2007. RG-33 production was completed in November 2008 with about 3200 total units delivered.

RG-33 4x4 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP).  Photo:  BAE Systems
RG-33 4x4 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP). Photo: BAE Systems.

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RG-33 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP)

The bus-like RG-33 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) starts with a blast-resistant, monocoque V-shaped hull design, capped by an upper body with significant interior volume for crew and mission equipment. The chassis was adapted from the Unimog, a design inherited from the RG-31 MRAP (based on the South African Mamba). Steel armor and transparent armor (bullet-resistant glass), along with seating and other interior elements, provide protection from small arms fire (rifles and machine guns) as well as mines, IEDs and other explosives.

There are multiple versions of the RG-33 that were acquired by the U.S. military (as well as other BAE versions that were not acquired), in two basic configurations (4x4 and 6x6):

  • MRAP Category I RG-33 4x4
    • RG-33
    • RG-33 USSOCOM
    • RG-33 USSOCOM Plus
  • MRAP Category II RG-33L 6x6
    • RG-33L
    • RG-33L Plus
    • RG-33L Heavy Armored Ground Ambulance (HAGA)
    • RG-33L HAGA Plus
    • RG-33L USSOCOM Armored Utility Vehicle (AUV)

RG-33 MRAP optional features include run-flat tires and the EOD robotic arm for investigating roadside objects as well as add-on armor, hydraulic rear ramp, medical equipment, 70KW auxiliary power unit, 120/240 AC import/export power, thermal driver’s vision enhancer, taillight camera, central tire inflation system, transparent armor Gun Shield and remote weapon systems.

The Plus-variant vehicles include passive applique armor protection against Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs) as required by MRAP II. The SOCOM-variant vehicles provide special operations forces with a remote weapons system, a thermal driver's vision enhancer and a more robust communication system.

In theater, RG-33 MRAP drivers take a week-long 40 hour course which includes familiarization with the communications systems, disabled vehicle procedures, proper use of the rear door assist, rollover drills and, of course, the weapons system. A disabled RG-33 is recoverable by another RG33.

The RG-33 MRAP family can be C-130 airlifted.

RG-33 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) Characteristics

  RG33 series 4×4 RG33L series 6×6
Personnel Capacity 2 crew + 6 2 crew + 8
Length 265 in 338 in
Width 96 in 96 in
Height 136 in (reducible for C-130 transport) 136 in (reducible for C-130 transport)
Weight (GVW) 38,000–52,000 lbs 58,000–73,000 lbs
Payload 8,300 lbs 19,300 lbs
Maximum Speed 68 mph 67 mph
Engine Cummins 400 I6 Diesel Cummins 400 I6 Diesel
Transmission Allison 3200 transmission Allison 3200 transmission

Source: BAE Systems. Weight and other characteristics vary according to variant, equipment etc.

Manuals for RG33 AND RG33L Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) include:

  • TM 9-2355-108-10 (RG33 and RG33L)
  • TM 9-2355-320-10 RG33L Plus

M984 HEMTT wrecker lift towing BAE RG-33L
M984 HEMTT wrecker lift towing BAE RG-33L.

Personnel from Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula, cross a highway median in order to avoid unnecessary stoppage during a convoy of then-new RG-33L MRAPs, Baghdad, Iraq, 2 June 2008
Personnel from Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula, cross a highway median in order to avoid unnecessary stoppage during a convoy of then-new RG-33L MRAPs, Baghdad, Iraq, 2 June 2008.

1LT Ben Robinson, platoon leader of 4th Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army, conducts a survey of a RG-33L MRAP, New Dibaghtapa, Iraq, 10 Feb 2010
1LT Ben Robinson, platoon leader of 4th Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army, conducts a survey of a RG-33L MRAP, New Dibaghtapa, Iraq, 10 Feb 2010.

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