Saturday, February 17, 2007

Marines to place $3.7 billion order for 3,700 MRAP vehicles in Iraq by 2009

A US Marine Corps RG-31 Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle rests on its front axle after an I.E.D. detonated directly under the vehicle. The blast was pushed outward instead of straight up due to the vehicle's “V” –shaped undercarriage. Of the five service members in the vehicle, two received concussions and two others received minor burns.

Feb. 15, 2007 — Not satisfied with the quality of armor available for the troops in Iraq, the Marine Corps has decided to ask for an entirely new kind of vehicle known as the MRAP, which the Corps hopes will provide more protection to Marines.
The Marine Corps hopes to replace all its 3,700 Humvees in Iraq, but it will take until 2009 and will cost $3.7 billion, since each vehicle costs $900,000. Until then, the Marines will have to make do with the more vulnerable armored Humvees available to them now.

The new hull-armored MRAPs, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, have V-shaped floors that deflect the force of the blast away from the vehicles. Humvees are more vulnerable because they have flat floors that absorb the blast from roadside bombs. MRAPs are said to provide survival rates four to five times greater than do armored Humvees.

Roadside bombs take a heavy toll on U.S. forces in Iraq. More than 700 Marines have been killed in Iraq since the war began in 2003, nearly two-thirds of them in Humvee attacks, the Pentagon said.

The Marine Corps had originally submitted a budget request this year for 1,022 vehicles but has now concluded that it is better off asking Congress for the additional funding to replace all its vehicles in Iraq.

Read the rest at ABC News