Home » News » Are We Sure About the MRAP?

Are We Sure About the MRAP?

by Ward Carroll on April 26, 2007

MRAP-IED-web.jpg

Well it looks like the first spasm of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle orders has been launched, with the Pentagon inking a get this — $481 million contract for 1,000 vehicles this week.

Thats a half a billion dollars for 300 of the 15-ton Cougar Cat-1 (MRAP-MRUV) vehicles and 700 of the 16-ton Cat-2 (MRAP-JEERV) behemoths — all going to Force Protection Industries, Inc.

Excuse me for being the skunk at the picnic, but Im skeptical of the value of these purchases.

The MRAP is not a tactical vehicle. It is a specialized armored truck designed primarily for protecting EOD units and their gear from explosions while diffusing bombs or mines. The Marine Corps top gear buyer, Brig. Gen. Mike Brogan, admitted last month the MRAP was viewed by the Corps as a boutique vehicle for certain specialties. They asked for a limited quantity of these vehicles in the 2008 budget and 2007 wartime funding request based on that view.

Then what happened? You guessed it, Congress stepped in. After browbeating every service and DoD official they could over the meager number of MRAPs in the budget, Army and Marine officials snapped to and revamped their request to satisfy lawmakers new infatuation.

Remember again: the MRAPs are not tactical vehicles. Of course, neither is a Humvee (it was designed as a logistics vehicle), but its a lot easier to use as a tactical vehicle with current modifications than the MRAP in an urban counterinsurgency. The giant, heavy MRAP vehicle is ill-suited to the urban fight. You might as well drive around the city in a Bradley fighting vehicle.

I know Ill probably get a lot of crap for this, but I think the services recognize that the MRAP isn’t what they need but theyre responding to the congressional love affair with the vehicle because they have to. The push is forcing the services to buy MRAPs from nine different manufacturers, and though military officials insist theyre all similar mechanically, you know there are going to be widgets and nick-knacks that are different, requiring their own logistics chain.

And what will the Army and Marine Corps do with these vehicles after U.S. involvement in Iraq is drawn down, which no matter how you look at it is inevitable soon? The services are spending millions on the development of a new version of the Humvee that answers a lot of the shortfalls found in the 1980s-era vehicle, including a blast-deflecting underbody and gas-hybrid engines. But with thousands of MRAP vehicles sitting in motor pools around the country, it may be difficult to justify spending money on an improved Humvee.

My last problem with the MRAP is that its too big and intimidating. Fielding a vehicle that troops are supposed to travel in every time they go outside the wire that looks like it will crush you if you even look at it doesnt seem to me to be a good way to win hearts and minds, and makes it difficult to interact with a population youre trying to win over. At least in a Humvee youre a ground level and can quickly jump out to pass a few soccer balls to the kids. Not so in the Cougar, which is so far off the ground and has such thick windows, its as if theres no human in the thing at all.

What would Gen. Petraeus say if he were asked his honest opinion of the MRAP infatuation? Does it serve his counterinsurgency plan at all?

(Gouge: DID)

Christian

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{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

Tommyboy April 26, 2007 at 8:55 am

I care more about our soldiers safty then the hearts and minds of a few Iraqis. I think they can still toss soccer balls out the top of it!

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dosco April 26, 2007 at 9:13 am

And therein lies the reason we’re going to lose the debacle in the desert – our armed forces are firmly entrenched in 2nd Generation Warfare mentality. Bravo.

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Anom April 26, 2007 at 9:22 am

What would be the ideal tactical vehicle? You said it’s not the Hummer or the MRAP. What does this tactical vehicle need to be? Should it be more like M1A2 or a Segway? Don’t leave us hanging.

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Dan April 26, 2007 at 9:39 am

Easy for you to say sitting your cozy office chair. Why don’t you ask some of the marines that are alive today solely because of the MRAP’s.

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Wild Bill April 26, 2007 at 9:57 am

It seems to me the Stryker fits the bill. It has proven to be much more survivable than the humvee and is a fighting tactical vehical. And soccer balls and candy can be thrown from the top. Also, it will much more effective that the MARP’s when we have to fight the Chinese.

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Grandjester April 26, 2007 at 10:01 am

“You might as well drive around the city in a Bradley fighting vehicle.”
Let’s face the unpleasant truth here, nobody is safe there period. A centurion driver lost his legs recently, so if they can pop MBTs these Cougars or Bradleys are the very least we should mount our guys in.

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Andrew April 26, 2007 at 10:06 am

This vehicle has saved countless lives including alot of my buddies that I served with. IED’s are the biggest threat in theater right now and these are the best at preventing death. Enjoy your fresh food and your nice home, my boys are out there keeping you safe and letting you write this filth. On both of my combat tours (one working with an EOD team,) we had the worst armor available, these are the best things available for our troops.
Semper Fi Marines….

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Joeyknees April 26, 2007 at 10:07 am

Have you read the letters from soldiers using Cougars in Iraq? There are many on Force Protection’s web site. Have you looked at the statistics of KIA of WIA while in a Cougar or Buffalo compared with any other vehicle? Does the idea that we’d have maybe 1/4 of the casualties we’ve taken in Iraq if these MRAP vehicles were the norm rather than the exception mean anything to you?
If you not, you are ignorant of your subject. If you have seen the facts, you are just a phoney posing as an expert.

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BIG April 26, 2007 at 10:09 am

You don’t know what the hell you are talking about. Do some real reasearch before you go shooting off at the mouth.

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patti Brown April 26, 2007 at 10:11 am

I tell you what you go over to Baghdad and see what you would like for protection.
There was a picture in the which one of these were
hit a road bomb . The front was damaged and the men were standing there looking at it. But they
were not hurt. How happy were they, look them up and ask them .
I bet you drive a big safe car too.
P.A. Brown pj

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JMD April 26, 2007 at 10:18 am

All of your objections to using MRAPs seem a bit secondary to giving soldiers a much more durable urban war fighting vehicle. Any general with half a political brain would realize that preventing the death of more soldiers is going to increase the odds that they will have a chance to finish their job.
If we want to make winning hearts and minds our chief priority though we could save quite a bit of money. How about a fleet of Chrysler Seabring convertibles? They are very friendly looking vehicles with wide avenues for the egress of soccer balls or the ingress of grenades and bullets, but hey the kids would love them. Our new Congress would also like to boost American jobs, help save one of our flagging flagship automakers, and galvanize public support for our withdrawal from Iraq. Its a win win for the kids in/and Congress. Who can argue against that?

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Marshall April 26, 2007 at 10:29 am

Good points in the post, Christian. It’s nice to see some perspective on the limits of the MRAP’s role.

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Repoman April 26, 2007 at 10:30 am

Hmmm.. what is the matter? Did you listen to Thestreet.com and short FRPT stock at $14 per share?
DUMBEST ARTICLE I’VE READ THIS YEAR. NO FORESIGHT WHATSOEVER.
You and Rumsfeld should enjoy a martini together.
If this article wasn’t free to read, I’d cancel my subscription today. Not because of your opinion, but because you possess no expertise in the field in which you report on.

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Jo April 26, 2007 at 10:48 am

There’s something else that makes it “difficult to interact with a population that you are trying to win over”: Being dead
I’d rather have these men safe and able to return home to throw soccer balls with their own kids than risk their lives in an inferior vehicle.

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Mr. Zippy April 26, 2007 at 10:52 am

Unreal. You sir, will never qualify for “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?”
You decided to focus on the monetary aspects, but you fail to mention the costs involved with brain injuries, rehabilitation for those that have lost limbs, etc, and most of all death.
Tell me, what price would you pay to provide our troops with battle-proven (over 2,000,000 combat hours and over 1,000 IED blasts)vehicles?
There are up to 10 Soldiers and/or Marines in each of these vehicles. Multiply that times the cost it would take to replace the dead. Multiply that by the cost we will incur to rehabilitate the wounded. The numbers are staggering, and for what? Because you don’t want to spend the monies needed to provide our troops with the best equipment….Our industrial-base has risen to the challenge, and has come up with a protective vehicle that saves lives.
I hope you daughter comes to you one day and says “Daddy, what did you do to support the troops”…You can reply, “I wrote an ignorant article about why saving a couple dollars is more important than an American life.”
I hope you follow-up that conversation with, “but I learned from many people who responded, that life is far more important than a couple dollars. So I went back and wrote a follow-up piece after doing the research that I should have done in the beginning and turned in to an avid advocate of the MRAP program (specifically Cougars, Buffalo and Cheetahs). Then I pledged to sponsor 2 wounded GI’s who were at Walter Reed going through rehabilitation.”
Zippy

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Froman April 26, 2007 at 11:05 am

You truly have no idea what you are talking about. It saddens when I read something so wrong about a subject that saves the very people who protect our freedom. I think the best way for you to continue your research would be to send you over to theatre in a “tactical” vehicle and see how long you last on some of the convoy routes. Hats off on the real lack of research.

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Repoman April 26, 2007 at 11:12 am

Again, NO FORESIGHT.
You claim none of the MRAP vehicles can serve as offensive weapons. Maybe you haven’t heard about Cougars replacing Strykers down the road, or the mounting of 7.62 mm machine guns on top of Cougars to mow down insurgents.
I’ll tell you what is going to sit in the motor pool in the next war. The Abrams and the Bradleys, because we will be fighting in urban envirnments.

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elmo April 26, 2007 at 11:19 am

Christian,
Thanks for responding to some of the concerns of your readers. There are a lot of concerns with your report. One thing I would like to add is this: I am shocked that you are unaware of the CROWS system being installed in Cougars and eventually Cheetahs. The CROWS system turns a Cougar into a offensive weapons carrier if need be. Now you have firepower and can safely transport your troops. The Cheetah is just a little bit bigger than a Humvee but has blast and mine protection that the Humvee lacks. I suggest you do just a bit more research on the Crows system and Cheetah and do an update. Thanks…..elmo

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Jim April 26, 2007 at 11:23 am

What a buffoon! As an academy gaduate and former Army captain, I can tell you that the current situation in Iraq is untenable. The reason is that our brave men are at risk because of vehicles like the MRAP’s that you are talking down. Up until now the up armored HUMVEE has performed painfilly poorly. No matter how many armor kits you attach the vehicle remains at risk because it was not designed to operate in this type of environment. The MRAP’s will help shore up this situation. Boutique vehicle or not, If I were operating in the Iraq theater I would prefer to be in one vs. a uparmored HUMVEE.

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Christian April 26, 2007 at 11:26 am

Elmo,
I’ll believe it when I see it. They’ve been talking about the CROWS – and other systems like it – for years but haven’t put them out there in appreciable numbers, at least on tactical vehicles like the Humvee.
Again, my main objection is that Congress is writing the requirement on this, not the military. I’ll be interested to see how TTPs are modified to incorporate this MRAP thing – if at all.

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dosco April 26, 2007 at 11:27 am

Well, if our only concern is “bringing all of our troops home alive,” then the answer to war is clear. Stop buying all this junk (MRAP, JSF, M-16s, etc etc) and simply annihliate the enemy with nuclear weapons.
Fighting an unconventional enemy with 2GW tactics will only yield a loss, a bitter pill we’ll be swallowing in the next couple of years.

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Charlie Victor April 26, 2007 at 11:38 am

I could not agree more with your comments, but I don’t think Congress is the only group to blame. The Army and USMC have a responsibility of explaining to Congress that tax-payer’s dollars are being wasted.

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Peter April 26, 2007 at 12:11 pm

I kinda agree, the military is buying the larger Cougars, instead of the smaller RG 31s or the Cheetahs

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Nomad April 26, 2007 at 12:58 pm

People like you should be sent to Canada to live …You give Americans a bad rap because you are a stupid bastard..Get out of America and take all the Mexicans with you..NOMAD

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Grandjester April 26, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Hey lay off Christian a bit here boys (Christ, never thought I’d be saying than considering the number of times I have done it). He is making a valid point about the OVERALL usefulness of the platform and the knee-jerk reaction of Congress in grabbing them up. Can’t say that I can blame the Congress though with all the bitching about humvees lack of armor and what not, gotta do something instead of nothing and this is what we get. Is it an ideal platform? Probably not. Is the the best gap filler we can get at the moment? Probably.

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Billy Big Spuds April 26, 2007 at 1:31 pm

Well, im not sure about it’s tactical capabilities. It may protect the men, but the damn thing looks like some redneck welded the thing together in the back yard after he was drinking. At first glance, i wouldnt jump in that thing, just thinkin it might not even start. In fact, i have this old Snapper lawn mower in my grove thats gettin all rusted out. It kinda reminds me of that. :P

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pjk April 26, 2007 at 1:46 pm

jesus, what’s with all the flaming? as if it’s totally unreasonable to imagine congress pushing a weapons platform for political purposes. and christian makes a great point with the soccer balls comment… not that “hearts and minds” is a particularly reasonable goal at this point, but on a grander scale, building larger and more isolated defenses as the situation continues to deteriorate seems like denying the inevitable. why not just build a 6-ft thick steel dome in Kurdistan and camp out there? at least everyone will be safe. I forget, what are our goals in iraq again?

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Charlie Victor April 26, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Nomad…tell me how the MRAP fosters a positive COIN doctrine when you separate yourself even more from the very people you are trying to protect? The roads in Iraq are extremely dangerous and it’s doubtful the JIEDDO will find the cure-all counter-IED device that will save soldiers’ and Marines’ lives. I understand that the MRAP is a quick-fix to the IED problem, but it doesn’t help the local Iraqi’s security and it doesn’t engender us with the local population. Maybe some other options are keeping units spread out and in local towns so that they are foot-mobile; or, driving their vehicles only at night and staying with the local populace during the day (and not in the FOB). Unfortunately, we are at the point where a true COIN doctine has become politically unfeasible so now the Services and Congress need to plug the dam with a political solution and our tax-payer dollars.
The MRAP will save lives, but, as a mission-specific vehicle, it will become a logistical and costly burden to the USMC and Army in the future. I’m not an acquisition guy, but maybe there was something else out there that would save lives now and we could utilize in the future.

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campbell April 26, 2007 at 2:09 pm

hello? isn’t there ANYBODY out there that can look at this with reality? Why is it that the opposing forces are able to wreck such havoc, while they have no armour?
BECAUSE THE ARMOUR IS THE TARGET!!
get the f**k out of the vehicles, spread your men out no closer than 15 meters, (EVER!)from each other, cover each others ass….and spend the money where it will do some good……on SURVEILLANCE!! Bad guys cant lay IEDs, if you keep a total eye on everything…and doing so from remote sensors, either ground based or air is easier and cheaper than putting all your fine fellows inside a nice fat TARGET.
damn.
Why the f**k don’t we have any decent tacticians?
Or “warriors” instead of “war fighters”
DAMN this “we have to have armour” bull!
(Christian, since we have to deal a military that is unable to conceive of the idea of WALKING….your questions about the versatility of this vehicle are at least appropriate)

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Mike April 26, 2007 at 2:39 pm

I believe what Christian was trying to say is our troops should be rideing in something more on the lines of this http://www.roadkill.com/~lnelson/mystuff/AP-Ivan-Sekretarev.jpg

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C April 26, 2007 at 4:28 pm

there is a whole lot of red mist in these comments. i think far too many of you hotheads are in an “with me or against me” mindset. in addition, you’re forgetting the democratic ideals we’re fighting for.
throwing money at problems has never worked. throwing bodies hasn’t either. Christian isn’t saying the program or purchases should be scrapped altogether. there is some worthy hesitation that needs to be undertaken by purchasing so that the billions aren’t going into something that won’t be versatile enough to deal with whatever new, stranger bass-ackwards conflict that same Congress gets our military into in the future. new program funding isn’t a renewable resource.
better innovation and better tactics are what’s really needed. having these vehicles purchased in small quantities and delivered to the units that need them (EOD, lead vehicles in convoy etc) is more reasonable in terms of cost-benefit.
yes, we need to protect soldiers and we need the right tools for the job. grabbing at the first possible thing to come along and blowing the proverbial wad on it is not the right way to go about it.

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Jim S April 26, 2007 at 7:45 pm

I’m not good at math. Is that $481,000 per vehicle???

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Joe Katzman April 27, 2007 at 10:11 pm

The author is encouraged to discover the practice of research before offering such opinions. Just on the factual inaccuracies level:
“The MRAP is not a tactical vehicle. It is a specialized armored truck designed primarily for protecting EOD units and their gear from explosions while diffusing bombs or mines. The Marine Corps

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Macaca April 28, 2007 at 6:45 am

Maybe try the Bushmaster, it’s a tiny bit more friendly-looking and also a lot more usuable in non-IED situations.
And like campbell said: the more armour, the bigger the vehice, and the bigger a target. An RPG dude must really suck to miss a rig like a MRAP or Bushmaster.. they are enourmous, noisy and slow.. ideal targets.
And why is it politicans and corporations run the war? I thought it was the military that handles those things? Looks to me like lot of decicion makers are simply incompetent. They have their mouths full of partiotism and ‘our warfighters needs’ and all the other bla-bla… and all I see is money wasted and lives lost.
Aquisition Incompetence == Burocratic Murder

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Ox Cart April 29, 2007 at 12:05 pm

The Force Protection Cheetah and the International Trucks Oryx suffer little in mobility, mass and size comparisons to the up-armored Humvee, but offer many, many times the protection of any Humvee to warriors inside them. They are MRAPs. You don't see orders for them, because they are extremely threatening to JLTV funds. They blow up the Army's excuse that mobility is why they don't go with the MRAP to the extent the Marines do. BETTER TO LET ANOTHER TWO, THREE OR FIVE THOUSAND GUYS DIE OR BE MAIMED, AND TO LOSE THE WAR, THAN HAVE THOUSANDS OF JLTV-THREATENING MRAP TRUCKS SITTING AROUND IN INVENTORY A FEW YEARS FROM NOW. I really almost can't believe the level of asininity evinced by such thinking. I can't get over it, even after years of exposure to it. Diseased institutional thinking at its greatest.

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ohwilleke April 29, 2007 at 1:10 pm

Once again, the best is the enemy of the good.
While I’d love it if we could field a “new version of the Humvee” that did everyone one could desire, there is a crisis in the field now. The unmodified Humvee failed at the job it was pressed into service doing in Iraq. The armored version hasn’t been a great improvement at resisting IEDs.
We can’t wait half a dozen years until engineers invent something better.
If this means that the Army and Marines make redundant purchases, so be it. Nobody said war was efficient. But, it is better to have to purchase two vehicles and be less efficient with their relatively small procurement budgets, than to have more dead soldiers than we must.

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Ox Cart April 29, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Hey Christian, I decided you’re right; the MRAPs are NOT tactical vehicles. They are STRATEGIC vehicles.

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Greg May 2, 2007 at 9:34 am

From a Defense News article:
The British Ministry of Defense kickstarted a competition in late April to buy 180 Medium Protected Patrol Vehicles (MPPVs) by seeking expressions of interest from contractors able to deliver a vehicle to the Army in two years.
The purchase of this new class of patrol vehicles is part of Britain

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Tigereye57 May 3, 2007 at 8:43 am

This unworthy observes there are 4 related projects underway, all designed to provide a light, urban combat worthy/assymterical warfare platform. They are the Joint Light Tactical vehicle (an Army/USMC effort with a goal of 50,000 new vehicles to replace about a quaretr of the HMMWV fleet by 2020); MRAP as discussed here (plus the additional orders for the MRAP platforms being placed with the favored vendors), Medium Mine Protected Vehicle (MMPV, following on the series of purchases of Grizzly, Cougar, Buffalo, and RG-31 made over the past two years), plus the HMMWV update effort. The objective, in every case, seems to be getting a highly capable automotive platform, with ballistic, mine, and IED protection, and the connectivity upon which our way of war depends. For this Marine’s money, the four efforts need to be rationalized into a single program…and get the Warfighter what he or she needs NOW. From my OP, it seems like the Congress and Services are willy-nilly throwing money at the asymmtric threat du jour. A more rational consolidated effort would get the right gear to the field faster, and have considerable economic benefit.

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Zhang Fei May 11, 2007 at 9:01 pm

The author’s argument is that the guerrillas will adapt to the heavier armor. I think he’s right. At the same time, I believe the guerrillas’ adaptations will hamper their effectiveness, because defeating the armor will require bigger bombs. And the bigger the bomb, the fewer the IED’s they can make with a given shipment of explosives. Since their hit rate is what it is, fewer IED’s means fewer dead GI’s.

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Steve May 13, 2007 at 1:30 pm

The author doesn’t know what he’s talking about. First, he should know that any armored vehicle has to be considered a ‘tactical vehicle.’ Next, he must have forgotten that this vehicle has a shorter turning radius than the HUMVEE, is more modular in design (easier and faster to repair), is faster, and gets better gas mileage than the HUMVEE. Also, the HUMVEE can carry only three dismountable troops (the driver and crew-serve gunner never leave the vehicle), and the MRAP carries up to 7 dismountable troops. He needs to check his facts. The HUMVEE was never meant to be up-armored and from the beginning of the war the DOD has been planning to phasing in vehicles like this one that are better suited to this type of warfare. -Steve

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BacSi du Morte May 14, 2007 at 4:43 am

I am not qualified to quibble with the seaworthiness of the vehicle.
I am, however compelled to comment on the price tag paid.
Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot? Give me a handful of retired automotive workers with military service, and we’ll build a right proper EOD transporter for $50K a copy. And, we’ll make it pay part of its own way by selling sponsorships (a la the NASCAR vehicles.
Hard to believe that a Starred grunt from My Beloved Marine Corps would fall prey to a Sandcrab swindle.

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Take-a-knee May 14, 2007 at 9:19 am

The writer doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That Cougar is an excellent vehicle for Iraq. We aren’t doing “tactical” ops in Iraq, we are playing cops and bombers. Yes, and EFP will penetrate the Cougar, it will also penetrate an M1 tank. The reality is most IED’s are artillery shells that our ignorant leaders “forgot” to secure. Against these the Cougar works magnificently. How do I know this? I worked for a company in Iraq that used the South African precursor to the Cougar, the Mamba. Our clients rode in the Mambas, we usually rode in trucks. I saw what an IED will do to an “armored” pickup, the same thing it will do to a Hummer, blow it to shreds. The same IED would flip the Mamba onto its side, everyone would walk out the back hatch, shaken but otherwise unharmed. How do I know this, exactly that happened to my roomate on MSR Tampa. None of us had to be told twice to ride in the Mambas.

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dirty0311 May 14, 2007 at 9:46 am

The Cougar is a specialty vehicle, it is not an urban or covert ops vehicle. I have seen an EOD cougar take three separate IED blasts in a time spread of about 3 hours while attempting to clear ASR Patty, Falujah Penninsula, and survive them all, the only reason it disengaged was too many flat tires. BUT!!, I would never want to have to ride in one during combat ops if I wasn’t directly involved in IED sweeps. In a humvee, I was able to get through alleys, set up OP’s in houses by simply parking the old beater in their back yard and best of all, when something did happen, everyone could be loaded up and ready to rock in seconds, usually just enough time for me to get in and start the damn thing! Speed and mobility, are a must. Everyone is concerned about protecting the lives of our boots on the ground that they are forgetting what we ourselves require to survive, intel, decisiveness, and cunning. We don’t need a multimillion dollar project that we are simply gonna break in a weeks worth of romping through the desert or worse, trying to fit through forest and jungle!? I don’t think anyone has even covered future operations and the Cougars versitality there. This will not always be a counter-insurgency war. We will once again fight in the jungles and forests, through mountains and on the shores of our enemies. The humvee, although outdated and beat up like none other, can survive even in the hands of Marine grunts, who throughout history have shown that nothing is infantry proof, especially gear! Lets spend our money on MRAPs that will be used against those specific problems, I’ll keep my good ol high-back humvee anyday. Improve survaillance and intel and we wont have the problem of IED’s anyway. Congress needs to stop listening to Mothers of American and all the “intelligent” officers in the military and pay attention to the grunts on the ground. The lowly PFC and the Lcpl, they’re the ones that know what they need.

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B/1/9-68 May 23, 2007 at 6:37 pm

let the EOD troops have the MRAPs…if you want to clear the area of mudj, put the grunts back on foot, properly spread and properly supported…IEDs will become virtually useless.

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jeff May 29, 2007 at 6:44 am

In Australia we have the “bush ranger” imv (infantry mobility vehicle) built by British Aerospace Australia,and is similar to the mamba . it can carry 9 personell and equiptment for up to 3 days including 270L of water with a range of 1000 km and a top speed of 90km/h, and designed to withstand ieds, mines and armour piercing shells. its a great piece of kit and there are further plans in developement for more like the bush master

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m. Smith June 21, 2007 at 7:04 am

My comment is simply this…If you think that the Cougar or other Counter IED Troop Transport is unnecessary, then I ask you to come to Baqubah Iraq and ride in a M1151 or…”boots on the ground and spread out.” Good luck. A bradley, M2A3 was picked up and put on its lid by an IED the other day and killed the driver. I too have seen the Cougar take a hell of a blast and drive away. The only way the enemy is killing us with consistency is IEDs. we cannot prevent them from being made but we can minimize the effectiveness. so spend it.

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m smith June 21, 2007 at 7:08 am

My comment is simply this…If you think that the Cougar or other Counter IED Troop Transport is unnecessary, then I ask you to come to Baqubah Iraq and ride in a M1151 or…”boots on the ground and spread out.” Good luck. A bradley, M2A3 was picked up and put on its lid by an IED the other day and killed the driver. I too have seen the Cougar take a hell of a blast and drive away. The only way the enemy is killing us with consistency is IEDs. we cannot prevent them from being made but we can minimize the effectiveness. so spend it.

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505th Eng LT June 28, 2007 at 5:55 am

I was in Mosul Iraq. I had the honor of riding around in the MRAPs, Strykers, M1114s & M1115s. First i would like to say this. With point detonated IEDs timing is what it is all about to the insurgent, so speed is your saving grace. Yeah more armor is great, but speed is the key. My vehicle was personally hit with 7 IEDs in country. All of which speed minimized the amount of time in kill zone and numerous other times kept us from receiving a direct hit. The MRAPs are slow, the HUMVEES little armor. WHY has no one included the Stryker in these talks? It is very tactical, holds a squad, very safe, and the speed is as fast if not faster than a humvee. Not to mention in the urban environment, sneaky, sneaky it is at night or in the day. I totally believe that we need to ramp up and give our soldiers the best, and the best is the stryker. I have seen those things take direct hits from 155s encased in 55 gallon drums full of ball bearings and they saved EVERYONE. WHY NO STRYKER RAMP UP IS BEYOND ME! They are already in the inventory on a massive scale, they can more than be utilized in a number of capacities. Much more versitility.

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MilitaryLightMan July 7, 2007 at 11:02 am

With millions of hours in theater, under the wire with over a thousand attacks by IED’s and NO SOLDIER or MARINE KILLED – who do you think you are to discredit a vehicle program that was DESIGNED to save lives?!?!
Ooh… the poor little ones who are imtimidated by the American’s big trucks – wahhhhhhh…. We wouldn’t even be there if they hadn’t leveled two of America’s Prized buildings and attacked the core of our Military Intelligence, killing thousands of INNOCENT Americans.
Wake up!!! It is under-educated and moronic statements like yours that if read by the wrong person, could remove funding from a Program that is saving lives – OUR Soldiers & Marines lives!!
Ooh… by the way – if you’re scared of our trucks being too big – take a look at the Cheetah, for example – it is a (mini) COUGAR with the same benefits, but small enough to do inner city tactical operations.
It is soon on its way to IRAQ & Afghanistan too….
This was not written to offend only to wake some people up – we need to join together to get his thing over – not divide ourselves….
“If you are not willing to stand behind our Troops, please feel free to stand in front of them.” Author Unknown
Matthew E. Drake
matthew.drake@army.com

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mike July 10, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Umm, the problem I have with this article is that the picture at the top of the page is not a MRAP vehicle. It is in fact a BAE Systems RG-31 Mine Protected APC. Take one for a test drive with the guys in Iraq or Afghanistan, they could show you how well the vehicle performs on a day to day basis in the Iraqi/Afghani versions of Mayberry. Maybe you should take a spin through Bagdad in one of those cute Chrysler Seabring convertibles that JMD suggested for you earlier?
Putting a picture of a vehicle blown to shit and then trying to pass it off as a completely different vehicle, I mean if you couldn’t find a picture of a MRAP severly damaged or one that has been blown up to the point where some one has died, well then your report is already bogus, no evidence no story…period.
P.S. Google.com is a very good search engine, used by reporters and well everyone that has access to the internet. Be a real reporter and do the research before sticking your head in your ass, if you can’t get the facts right, look for a new job.

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Eric July 12, 2007 at 1:25 am

I’ve lost dozens of Soldiers to IEDs in Iraq over the past 4 years. Some of them have been in Bradley’s, some in M998′s with “gypsy” armor, and some in M1114′s.
Your article contains very little fact. I DO agree that lawmakers have a poor understanding of the needs of the military, and their interests are not always motivated by providing for the wellfare of Soldiers and Marines. However, the current Humvee’s with the additional armor kits being put on are simply overtaxed and have hit their culmination point. It is definitely time for another vehicle.
Even if it is a “loggy” vehicle, American servicemen are resourceful enough to tailor it to their needs. The appearance of strength is a good thing in a war. The enemy is supposed to be afraid of you.
The major draw back to these is that they are taller and just as noisy as Humvees. Hopefully, they are less maintenance intensive and can off road just as well (before we slapped on all of the extra armor).

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chris July 15, 2007 at 3:39 pm

I was in the Marine Corps for 4 years, back in the mid seventies. The Humvee was essentially the replacement vehicle to the old jeep, so in essence its just a jeep. It may be a better jeep, I’m not sure as I’ve never ridden in a Humvee, but its still basically a just a JEEP. When I imagine riding around in Bagdad in a jeep I get cold chills. Jeeps or Humvees were never designed for the kinds of problems we are encountering in Iraq. What is needed is an MRAP type of vehicle that is designed from the ground up as that sort of general purpose armored vehicle. My opinion is that we replace every Humvee in Iraq and Afganistan with an MRAP, and bring all those Humvees back to the States, and never again send Humvee’s into battle zones where they dont belong. I’ve actually seen an MRAP up close and walked around it and looked inside. Beleive me, if any of you could look at both vehicles side by side, you would choose the MRAP to go riding around in. Is it big? Yes, its about as big as a 6×6. Is it’s size a problem? Not for me! One poster here said that you can’t solve problems by throwing money at them – WRONG. Throwing money at problems gets problems fixed. Did I agree with invading Iraq? NO way, but that’s not the issue now. We’ve dug a hole for ourselves and we can’t simply walk away from this. What we can do is make the most out of this bad situation and give our people over there adequate protection. We have the Manufacturing power here in America to solve this problem, and that’s what we are good at doing. I think it would be a real riot to have some idiot terrorist shooting at me inside an MRAP while I calmly call for close air on his soon to be vaporized ass. Imagine the joy as I’m giving him the finger and waving bye bye.
0311 – Semper Fi

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chimpy July 17, 2007 at 2:36 pm

You fukin supremacists sure love your wars and hate the Constitution you are all traitors. Iraq was a mistake made worse by morons like chimp, chaynay and dumbsfeld.

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chimpy July 17, 2007 at 2:39 pm

You fukin supremacists sure love your wars and hate the Constitution you are all traitors. Iraq was a mistake made worse by morons like chimp, chaynay and dumbsfeld.

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S&Bpoet July 18, 2007 at 7:28 am

Warfare is ever changing, morphing beyond anyones total control. Their are tens of thousands of vehicles in the motor pools that cost billions of dollars that are no longer useful in todays fighting enviroment. The perfect urban assault vehicle will never be developed, because it is the perfect target in a confined or predictable space. It can be defeated by simple low tech technology, by a very cunning and ever changing tactical foe, who is being supplied by major (Iran, Syria) supporters with very little restrictions on thier abiltiy to supply such ordanance to our enemys. MRAP’s will save lives in Iraq, so this is why I think they must be deployed to our troops. They will at least drop the causualty rate for low end explosive devices that are fatal to the current Hummers. I guess this is a short term moral investment, certainly not a fiscal one. These vehicles will probably be in the motor pool after this war is over, but if they save 200 or 300 of our servicemans lives over the next two years, I say .—-send em.

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S&Bpoet July 18, 2007 at 7:28 am

Warfare is ever changing, morphing beyond anyones total control. Their are tens of thousands of vehicles in the motor pools that cost billions of dollars that are no longer useful in todays fighting enviroment. The perfect urban assault vehicle will never be developed, because it is the perfect target in a confined or predictable space. It can be defeated by simple low tech technology, by a very cunning and ever changing tactical foe, who is being supplied by major (Iran, Syria) supporters with very little restrictions on thier abiltiy to supply such ordanance to our enemys. MRAP’s will save lives in Iraq, so this is why I think they must be deployed to our troops. They will at least drop the causualty rate for low end explosive devices that are fatal to the current Hummers. I guess this is a short term moral investment, certainly not a fiscal one. These vehicles will probably be in the motor pool after this war is over, but if they save 200 or 300 of our servicemans lives over the next two years, I say .—-send em.

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S&Bpoet July 18, 2007 at 7:28 am

Warfare is ever changing, morphing beyond anyones total control. Their are tens of thousands of vehicles in the motor pools that cost billions of dollars that are no longer useful in todays fighting enviroment. The perfect urban assault vehicle will never be developed, because it is the perfect target in a confined or predictable space. It can be defeated by simple low tech technology, by a very cunning and ever changing tactical foe, who is being supplied by major (Iran, Syria) supporters with very little restrictions on thier abiltiy to supply such ordanance to our enemys. MRAP’s will save lives in Iraq, so this is why I think they must be deployed to our troops. They will at least drop the causualty rate for low end explosive devices that are fatal to the current Hummers. I guess this is a short term moral investment, certainly not a fiscal one. These vehicles will probably be in the motor pool after this war is over, but if they save 200 or 300 of our servicemans lives over the next two years, I say .—-send em.

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Joshua Strode July 18, 2007 at 9:09 pm

The MRAP is a piece of shit. Why? It cannot stand up to an EFP and we’re gonna pull out of iraq before they can be sent to our troops. It’s a waste of money and time.

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Chad July 28, 2007 at 4:32 pm

If you do not think the MRAP is worth the money, come take a ride with me in a HMMVW (Humvee) on some dirt roads in Iraq. Before you people talk smack about how much they cost, keep in mind that the U.S. has misplaced Billions of Dollars for Reconstruction. But no one is complaining about that anymore. If you never had an IED explode under your vehicle in Iraq or Afghanistan, then stay in your lane we will stay out of yours. No amount of money is worth a single US Soldiers Life.

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John July 28, 2007 at 5:59 pm

So what do you suggest , intead of the MRAP??? improved humves still in the lab???or rather on the drawing table??while our troops continue to die when we know we could have saved them???
Listen christian, a man like yoou will never have the guts to serve in Iraq and im glad.stay in your shoes.

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Thomas W August 19, 2007 at 9:49 am

First, the main competitor in the MRAP competition is the International Maxxpro. its based on a proven truck chassis and can also have an uparmored underbelly added at any time.
the engine and chassis are used every day in commercial vehicles all over the country and are not some one off military pieces. this truck is serviced easily and can withstand brutal punishment. the armor plating is the best currently available.
they cost the US about $550,000. thats alot but far less than the millions a plane costs.
Id rather be in a Maxxpro than any other MRPA vehicle Ive seen.

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mike September 2, 2007 at 2:46 pm

The U.S. military spends billions on technology that will potentially take lives. What is the problem with billions being spent to save lives?
MRAP is not a fix all and the future of the vehicle is potentially limited to this theater. But tell me of a war we have fought in which technology was not developed for the conflict at hand. MRAP is a theater specific asset. But for all of the things that MRAP is not, it is a proven life saver.
MRAP is a high visibility program and you can bet that the enemy is taking note. The advertisement of MRAP as an “indestructible” vehicle will certainly make it a target and the enemy will do his best to show he can defeat this asset.
However, he continues to forget one very important fact and that is that the American Soldiers, Sailors and Airman that will be behind the wheel of these vehicles will not be defeated.
So, for all of the nay sayers and defeatist who say MRAP is not worth the dollars we will spend, answer me this- What is the cost of one life lost in Iraq and is it greater or less than the cost of one MRAP?

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David Woroner, Pres. SCI September 4, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Hello All, working in ballistics is a tricky business. (and that applies to EOD as well), anyone skilled in the art will tell you “its about the variables!”, if A happens, then it changes how B will act/react, thus C is changed from event to event.
However, bottom line, from “the bottom portion” component of these armored vehicles, I gotta say that its up to the “little inventor fella’s” to come up with a way to solve the problem. The tenants of ballistics are either A)deflect (which I prefer for the most part) or B)meet force with force. (Anyone remember the “tiger tank” of the Germans? well, it was a super peice of equipment except when it pulled up to the gas station ;) everything has an “achilles heel”… I, at this moment, and Im a member of several “anti hypervelocity organizations” and must say, i may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but have devised a way to truly protect our Soldiers from side Det. IEDs, I will be making some presentations at the Joint Urban Ops Conf. on Sept 26-28, Now onto the bottom “boat hull V” like defenitely “deflects” kinetics and/or detonation waves. Its a difficult posit.
However, most incidents are not from beneath the vehicle, the come from the IED’s on the sides of roads, etc……….
Well, its all about Velocity, Distance and Time. ;)

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Sgt Chad, USMC September 25, 2007 at 8:03 pm

If looking friendly was completing the mission, you would think IED attacks would stop. Apparently you have not lost a friend or loved one to an IED attack. The armor on the bottom of the HMMWV is flat and does not deflect shrapnel very well unlike the MRAP with its V shaped under armor.
Mission accomplishment first, troop welfare always. It’s more imortant to keep our troops safe. The civillians will understand that we are just trying to keep the troops safe.

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James September 26, 2007 at 1:06 pm

If the MRAPs cost 1/2 million to one million each
why does the defense department want 1 and 1/2 milloin in the budget for them? Wonder where that 1/2 mill or so is going? times 7,000.

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Ed October 14, 2007 at 9:15 pm

Im not sure whats the matter with you. What do you care more of? Lives protecting the U.S. or spending money? I dont know what you would say but id pick lives. listen here, the cougar is probably the safest thing to drive in Iraq. The M1 is even getting blown once in a while. I agree with everybody but you. The cougar is worth the money. Now i cant wait until the Golan comes out and shows everything up. this is my criteria: these are the nessesary vehicals… the M1 abrams, the Bradley APC, and once it comes out the Golan, the buffalo, the stryker-maybe,. and i think thats it. Scratch humvees form all lists.they are too unsafe.and uncool. please reply anybody.

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Ed October 14, 2007 at 9:16 pm

Im not sure whats the matter with you. What do you care more of? Lives protecting the U.S. or spending money? I dont know what you would say but id pick lives. listen here, the cougar is probably the safest thing to drive in Iraq. The M1 is even getting blown once in a while. I agree with everybody but you. The cougar is worth the money. Now i cant wait until the Golan comes out and shows everything up. this is my criteria: these are the nessesary vehicals… the M1 abrams, the Bradley APC, and once it comes out the Golan, the buffalo, the stryker-maybe,. and i think thats it. Scratch humvees form all lists.they are too unsafe.and uncool. please reply anybody.

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Sarmad December 8, 2007 at 2:38 am

I am Iraqi-American serving in Iraq as an engineer advisor.These vehicles look beat up but they protect the occupants and save lives.To me the choice is clear,every life is precious and worth saving, but if you want to play the math/money game ,let me educate you in simple math/English. The MRAP cost $500,000, each, the airline pay from 1 million to 2 million for each life lost in an airplane crash.You do the math 4 soliders per HUMVEE at a 1 million a person, that is 4 million dollar?! a savings of 3.5 million dollars?!any questions?.

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Ponysoljer January 16, 2008 at 10:30 pm

We need to protect the guys on the ground. Humvee wasn’t designed for this type of combat and the MRAP may not be perfect but it beats the hell out of the Humvee. What I want to know is why it costs so much. The South Africans were building basicly the same thing back in the 70′s for a hell of alot less, even allowing for inflation. So who’s getting rich!!!!

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nar January 22, 2008 at 9:31 am

this message is to ‘ed’. you call the hummer “uncool”. what are you, 12? give it a rest. you know i think that it is really cool that you know all of those names. now how about getting a job and moving out of your mom’s basement?

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Jon January 26, 2008 at 2:52 pm

I’m a PSYOPer in Theater right now. In discussions about getting the MRAPS, not once did fear of intimidating the Iraqis come up as a viable issue, and “Hearts and Minds” is our job through and through.
EOD likes it for their job, and PSYOP has no problem winning hearts and minds from the top of one of these…
granted….we’ll have to find a new place to mount our speakers…

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Wynand Meyering February 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Dear Mr. Lowe,
The MRAP was never designed to be a tactical weapon. It isn’t even suppossed to contend with the humvee. It is a troop transport, giving counter-insurgents the ability to isolate and contain areas that can contain enemy operatives.
“My last problem with the MRAP is that it

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Wynand Meyering February 15, 2008 at 9:04 pm

One buys the best equipment for your troops. The army itself will indicate if it feels it has enough MRAPs. The v-shaped bottom technologies can be extended to other vehicles that might face IEDs – as the development of an IED resistant / MRAP ambulance has shown.

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Stacey Nass February 29, 2008 at 5:17 pm

As a Soldier getting ready to go back to Iraq for a 3rd time, of course I would have a “love affair” like Congress with a vehicle that might save my life. But lets look at it form a different position like some do on the fact of money and use of this vehicle afterward. I saw recent photos of an MRAP that took a 500 pounder. Had that been a HMMVW or even a Stryker or a Bradley the result would have been dead soldiers costing you dear taxpayers a half million per dead Soldier. With 6 people in the vehicle that would have been over 3 million in life insurance and death gratuity payments. How much did it cost to make it and ship it? Around a 1 million? It looks like we are money ahead even if it was destroyed. We spend another million and get another one and we still saved a million. If you add the cost of caring for severally injured the cost escalates higher. In the long run the vehicle is worth its weight in gold, not only to me but to you taxpayers as well. I don

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Mike March 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm

As an Army Infantry officer, I can tell you that these vehicles are a godsend. I’m not sure what your ramblings about a “tactical vehicle” mean. Have you ever served in the infantry in combat? It sure doesn’t sound like it!

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meyer lansky April 6, 2008 at 9:46 am

Rocket grenades go thru armored vehicles. Ask Israeli vets of the Sinai.
Armored vehicles are so highly strategic that they stopped the Russians from losing in Afghanistan. Right?

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Eric F April 7, 2008 at 9:53 am

Having just returned from Iraq’s Al Anbar province, I know first hand of the JEERVs and they are worth every penny. I have seen pictures of the vehicle after a 400 pound HME bomb blew up underneath it. Sadly, the gunner was killed from the vehicle rolling over and he was thrown out. The rest of the crew had a few bumps and bruises, but they made it. The Hummer served it’s purpose in the first Gulf War, but the times have changed and the JEERV/MRAPs are the way to go.

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Slab April 12, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Mike, I am a Marine infantry officer, and I have used the MRAP in operations in Iraq. It is a piss-poor infantry fighting vehicle. After a few weeks we were glad to get a Humvee again, so we could operate off-road as necessary. Christian’s article, from my perspective, is spot-on.

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phat April 13, 2008 at 12:04 am

Great, you go on passing soccer balls out your Hummer. What about the 12-16 guys in the 2 MRAPs yesterday that gor pounded by IEDs and walked away? I can pretty well guess 3 or more of them would be KIA and 3 or more would be seriously injured. Besides the anguish to the families, how much is it going to cost to bury 3 and provide maybe round the clock care for the others? These things are paying for themselves. As far as manueverability you have to walk befor you crawl. There should be a smaller, more agile MRAP coming out soon that would be more suitable to the marines i think. But demanding such protection if available exemplifies leadership.

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Rich April 13, 2008 at 7:23 am

I think what the author was saying is while the MRAP is a very capable vehicle for what is designed for its not the end all of armored vehicles. The Army & Marines only need X amount of the MRAP’s, they still need humvees, bradleys etc. As for all the flamers…try reading the article & actually comprehending what is stated

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tired old soul May 31, 2008 at 9:09 pm

i don’t guess there was ever a piece of equipment fielded that was exactly what one hoped for. but i would say, if it gets you there in one piece what does it matter what the damn thing costs? certainly the writer made some very valid points.but lets remember regardless of the reasoning for the war, i believe all would aggree that if the damn thing had been prosecuted in the correct manner we probably wouldn’t even need a mrap vehichle in the first place.so why would anyone think that the same incompetent leaders would have the forsight?? to request development of a tactical vehicle tailored to urban warfare in an ied enviroment.

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Cindy June 16, 2008 at 6:00 pm

My son is in Iraq right now and he is suppose to get a MRAP soon. Who cares if they are intimidating, MRAP’s save lives. My son is worth more than $1million dollars to me and I am sure everyone that has a loved one in Iraq would agree. With all the money that is spent for this war, who cares how much money is spent on MRAP’s as long as it saves lives, its worth it.

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GE July 24, 2008 at 2:23 pm

“Hasn’t the never-ending conflict in Israel… taught you anything about this type of war?”
Yes, it’s taught that making bigger vehicles makes the opponents build bigger bombs. Technology like this will never win a guerilla war. You could have people driving around in goddamn tanks and it wouldn’t help. The key to winning a guerilla war is to make it so there is no reason to fight one. Nothing you can do militarily – short of literally blowing up every town with people in it – will end the fighting.

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MikeA August 5, 2008 at 11:12 pm

You are fighting co-in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan right now; you are very likely to fight more co-in wars in the near future (regardless of withdrawal from Iraq). That means you need MRAP for all your vehicle functions outside protected bases, whether you like it or not.
Of course MRAP vehicles are not proof against all IEDs – but they massively decrease your casualties. Also, if the insurgents try to deploy bigger IEDs to combat the MRAP, it costs them heavily in resources, time, logistics and signature.
In Afghanistan, we Aussies and the Dutch use the Bushmaster – highly mine resistant, light, capable of going anywhere. And they do not intimidate the locals. The Bushmaster is a Co-in warwinner.

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Wynand Meyering August 16, 2008 at 2:17 am

The South Africans have made all their tanks, ambulances, reconnaissance vehicles and other land vehicles IED proof by just sacrificing a little armor at the front and back and incorporating the V shaped hulls. This has given a lot of protection for just a small modification. I expect other companies to take note of that and to try to incorporate it in their army designs too…

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Bob August 28, 2008 at 9:07 am

Yes, the MRAP is a specific piece of equipment made for a specific task. That task is to survive an IED strike. The maintenance yard here in Sharana, Afghanistan has several MRAPs that have pieces blown off, doors broken, and even a turret thrown off. In every case, everybody survived. These MRAPs can be repaired and sent back to the line, HMMWVs in the same situations would be a pile of scrap metal. If these guys were in HMMWVs, we would have been burying most of them. The MRAP design has two advantages over HMMWVs- height (above ground, and the blast) and shape (hull deflects, not absorbs the IED blast). And don’t even get me started on how overweight the armored HMMWVs are. Plus, the MRAPS have more room in them for equipment and personnel. Riding around in a HMMWV is like being in a tuna can. The MRAP turret is higher, so you get better fields of fire, especially over the walls that line many roads. The MRAP is not perfect- there are first production run defects(generators, pulleys, track bar) and the weight (17+ tons)is a problem. Final answer- ask the soldiers here what they would prefer to be in. They know firsthand what others can only write about.

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clyde December 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm

If you think you’re going to ride to work in an urban war zone, that’s the first problem.
The second probelm is investing in a fleet of vehicles and their maintainance which the insurgents will quickly adapt to, defeat, and impose another round of super-vehicle funding:yeah,I think we’re playing right into Ossama’s hands with fiscal self-destruction.
Read about the Boer War, Napoleon in the Penninsula,NVA,Mao, Che, Mujihedeen, Aguinildo, and ask yourself, “How has the guerilla changed over the centuries?” Not much! And what’s been successful in defeating them? Same sort of thinking, in which high tech fire and maneuvre plays an important, but really, small role: much smaller than in conventional warfare, and, may even be detrimental to counter-insurgency. Insurgents fight on the cheap and count on persitance vs set piece battle field victories. In terms of that, who do you think is really winning?

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Veronica February 12, 2009 at 11:38 pm

My husband and six of his fellow soldiers owe their lives to the MRAP that they were in. Yesterday night they hit a +200 lb IED in Afghanistan. They all walked away. This vehicle saves lives. Anyone who disagrees obviously doesn’t value the caliber of lives that are using them.

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Rhyno327 August 7, 2009 at 9:12 am

More choppers dude, keep ‘em coming. You wanna stay off the roads? Fly over them. Clear, hold and then send vehicles. Just off the top of my head…which is not always firing on all pistons. Pls exuse me, and bare w/ me…thanx

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Sam September 15, 2014 at 2:07 am

I ran into this article and just wanted to say that this picture is of the vehicle that my unit had. The one in this picture was on it’s very first mission to resupply the squad I was in. we needed food and water and if it wasn’t for this vehicle I would have lost five friends that day. The gunner was the only one that was really hurt. He had burns on his face and a fractured back. This happened in 2006 so if I remember right their was seven people in this mrap, if it was the humvee we normally used, the mine they ran over would have killed everyone inside. These things saved lives. Thankfully in October of 2004 (before mraps)I was in one of the few up armored vehicles in a convoy headed out of samarra Iraq that was hit with an IED that probably would have ended my life. I can remember vividly crossing my legs whenever I was in a vehicle that wasn’t armored in hopes that if I was ever hit, at least I wouldn’t have my balls blown off. I owe a lot to the technology and money well spent to save lives,(and balls) which I can say for a fact that I have seen the effectiveness of the groin protector against IED shrapnel. Thank god for money well spent :)

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