He's a ballistics expert, former PSD contractor and all-around mad scientist who's come up with a novel new armor for newly built vehicles. This is part one of a multi-part series on new solutions for ballistic defeat. Well, a number of reasons.
The MRAP has some things going for it, and its saved some lives, no question. But its not the end-all be-all, ultimate solution to whats going on in Iraq and Afghanistanand its not going to be the solution in future wars that may be fought differentlyand certainly will be fought in different terrain.
Lets face it, the MRAP is a bank vault tipped on its side with wheels and a motor. A million dollar bank vault tipped on its side with wheels and a motor. Consider some of its weaknesses, and the financial burden to fix or repair. Were talking about a serious chunk of change just in the case of blowing the undercarriage out.
My opinion on this shouldnt be misconstrued as some reticence on my part to help out the troops. It can be done with the technology at hand, and it can be done more efficiently. Were in a war, and in a war, particularly conducted with blitzkrieg type operations, its always going to be better to put fewer men and less equipment into less expensive vehicles. Put simply, Id rather attack anything with a million ants than a pair of elephants. When it comes to those vehicles, protection doesnt have to be expensive, the vehicles can be more efficient to operate in a disparate variety of terrains, and lets dont forget the cost of fuel.
The concepts of blitzkrieg were known in other countries, albeit poorly developed the British army had partially implemented itby the end of the First World War, but the Germans had worked out the complexities of breaking through a front with highly concentrated resources.
This technique failed the Germans in their offensives of Marchlargely because the breakthrough elements were on foot and could not sustain the impetus of the initial attack. The deployment of motorized infantry was the key to sustaining a breakthrough, but this would have to wait until the s to be realized.
Superimpose the realities of modern war and we can see that the Humvee has proven itself to be a woefully inadequate method of safely transporting troops into battle, even with all the so-called hillbilly armor, up-armor packages, etc.
We should have done it right the first time, or not done it at all. We should still be doing things right the first time or not doing it at all These hunks of steel, bristling with machine guns and small guns, were long enough to accomplish what they were originally designed forto bridge the gaps of trenches.
In those days, this was perhaps a good idea. Review the realities of today again.
Everything has changed. Virtually every fundamental tenet of modern warfare is different than it was in WWI. So why do we persist in reverting to brawn over brains? In those days, all we had were metals and a cubic mentality.
Today we understand there are lightweight materials perfectly suitable for making lighter and more maneuverable vehicles of war without sacrificing the protection necessary to make them worthy of deployment. There are some laws and rules that must be applied to the discussion. Obviously we know that our modern vehicles must be lightened. We have a multitude of materials now that werent dreamed of then.
Most vehicles in this discussion use some type of composite armor, meaning a hybrid of several materials much stronger as an admixture than by themselves. To fully understand my contention, however, one must understand some basic Laws of Physics and Materials. First of all we have Spectra, Dyneema and other lightweight soft material that can take up some of the weight.Army and U.
Marine Corps. Also, MRAP vehicles provide protection against underbody mines and small arms fire threats. The U. Unfortunately, nearly two years passed from the time of the first formal field request for MRAPs until validated requirements were obtained. The Government Accountability Office found that: "Beginning in JuneIED incidents targeting coalition forces began to escalate from 22 per month to over per month in June In Junethese incidents reached more than 2, per month. At one point incoalition forces in Iraq were experiencing almost IEDs per day.
It offers the same level of armored protection as previous MRAPs but with better mobility. In Afghanistan, MRAPs had struggled with the rocky terrain, thus creating the need for a more mobile vehicle. The M-ATV incorporates the TAK-4 independent suspension system, which is designed to operate in the most extreme conditions enabling it to take rubble and rocks head on.
The M-ATV is available in a base variant as well as in special forces, ambulance, multi-mission, base upgrade, and cargo variants. The M-ATV has a crew of five including the gunner and is powered by a 7.
It can travel at speeds up to 65 mph with a range of miles. All other MRAP variants listed above will be divested.
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The enduring inventory holds 8, MRAP vehicles. The Army is currently upgrading these with various retrofit kits to maximize capability. Safety upgrades are the highest priority. This data is available in Forecast International's U. Defense Budget Forecasta comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.
Source: U. Complete and detailed information, including production forecast data, is provided in our Market Intelligence Service: Military Vehicles Forecast. With Forecast International's U.
Defense Budget Forecastyou not only get the latest program news, the DoD funding, worldwide inventories and planned quantities, long range forecasts, but most important — an expert's rationale for all programs and the overall market.
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Platinum Forecast System:. Airports Top U.In the summer ofthe U. 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 difficult terrain of Afghanistan.
MRAP Family of Vehicles
The original M-ATV program requirement was for between and 10, vehicles, with the most probable production quantity stated as 2, In Marchit became known that two each of six different vehicle types from five manufacturers had been delivered to the U.
At the completion of testing, the U. DoD stated that it planned to select a single M-ATV producer but could, at its discretion, place production orders with multiple producers as it had done with the initial MRAP procurement.
The Oshkosh bid was also the second cheapest. Army, U. Marine Corps, U. Air Force, and U. M-ATVs were delivered in two main variants. Three additional contract options for vehicles each were awarded in December Deliveries were scheduled to continue through September On 28 MayOshkosh announced the U.
Army had awarded it a contract modification for the reset of additional M-ATVs. The modification includes options for the reset of up to 1, additional M-ATVs. Deliveries for this latest modification started October The goal is to use the M-ATV as an unmanned platform for route clearance and counter improvised explosive device IED missions by engineers. This variant of the M-ATV has enough interior capacity to simultaneously transport two litter-bound patients, two ambulatory patients, a medic, commander and driver.
In FebruaryOshkosh Defense and Alliant Techsystems conducted a firing demonstration of the MLF 30 mm chain gun on an M-ATV to demonstrate the viability and effectiveness of a medium caliber weapon system for light tactical vehicles. The live fire demonstration showcased improved accuracy in mobile engagements and improved lethality on the M-ATV using the gun, mounted on the RS-Mk2, a 3-axis stabilized remote weapon station weighing less than kg lb. The addition of the TAK-4 suspension is coil sprung and fully independentand offers 16 inches of wheel travel.
For survivability, and in addition to the V-shaped hull which is optimized for IED protection, other aids include the ability to take a 7. The engine compartment is also protected with the Stat-X engine fire suppression system. The M-ATV also features a traction control system and anti-lock brakes. Armament is roof-mounted and can be either manually or remotely operated.By Scott R.
Gourley - November 26, A classic example of this challenge was highlighted during the June 9,U. During that hearing, Mississippi Sen. Gates and Adm. Across the time spectrum, many of the same team members are also engaged in the ongoing Joint Light Tactical Vehicle JLTV program that is being designed and developed to meet projected future needs. It is, therefore, recognized that it may be necessary to trade some requirements to achieve the primary goal. The request went on to outline a range of notional mobility and agility characteristics as in a curb-to-curb turning diameter of 49 feet or less as well as design considerations as in a horsepower-to-weight ratio of no less than 23 HP per ton.
Prev Page 1 2 3 4 5 Next Page. Gourley Scott Gourley is a former U. Army officer and the author of more than 1, Sharing Options:. Facebook Comments 2 Archived Comments. Your source for trustworthy defense news Read more about our mission info defensemedianetwork.
Get Our Newsletter Email Address.Production of MRAP vehicles officially ended in Light armored vehicles designed specifically to resist land mines were first introduced in specialized vehicles in the s by the Rhodesian Armyand further developed by South African manufacturers, starting in with the Hippo armored personnel carrier APC.
Then came the first generation of purpose-built vehicles, the Hippo and various other light types They were essentially armoured V-shaped hulls mounted on truck chassis.
The next generation was represented by the Buffela Unimog chassis with a mine-protected cab and a mine-protected crew compartment mounted on it. These early vehicles did the job, but chassis were overloaded and were not very agile off road. The Casspir infantry mobility vehicle was developed for the South African Defence Force after ;  this was the inspiration for the American MRAP program and the basis for some of the program's vehicles.
Marine Corps requirement. It became the springboard from which the MRAP program was launched. Department of Defense, it negotiated to ensure enough steel was available to keep pace with production. The U. A number of designs of vehicles from various vendors were deployed as part of the MRAP program. MRAP vehicles usually have "V"-shaped hulls to deflect explosive forces from land mines or IEDs below the vehicle, thereby protecting vehicle and passengers.
Category 1 MRAP vehicles ordered or in service:. Originally, Brig. The program's combined technical approach was to exploit computing and terminal effects experimentation to scale known technologies for the defeat of lED threats, understand the most viable armor mechanisms for efficient penetrator defeat, and then introduce light-weight composites, new materials and enhanced ballistic mechanisms to reduce the add-on weight of final armor packages.
Oshkosh Corp. Init was unknown what the U. One question centers around the inwards-facing design of the rear seats, given that an outward-facing design would have allowed troops to fire their weapons through ports, which some versions even lacked. The height and steepness of the dropdown stairs at the rear of some versions was observed to make exiting the vehicle dangerous.
Also, troops riding in the rear can easily hit their heads on the ceiling while bouncing around in rough terrain, thereby engendering the risk of serious brain and spinal injuries. Of the 66 MRAP accidents between 7 November and 8 Junealmost 40 were due to rollovers caused by bad roads, weak bridges, or driver error.
In many of the rollovers, troops were injured. However, in two separate incidents, five soldiers were killed by rolling over into a canal, thereby becoming trapped underwater with no means of escape.
The report also raised concerns associated with MRAP vehicles snagging on low-hanging power lines in Iraq or its antennas getting close enough to create an electric arc, which may lead to the electrocution of the passengers.Interactivity is all over the place and you can see this right away as the website is flash-driven and has many tools that ensure a smooth navigation.
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That game isn't where our focus lies though as we pick out Munster against Leicester as the battle for top spot in Pool 4 heats up with a mouth-watering clash. Remember, this is when extra spice is added, as next week these sides all face each other again in reverse fixtures.
Munster, now under Johann van Graan, face Matt O'Connor's side at Thomond Park with both teams locked on six points despite Munster having drawn and won a game to Leicester's one win and a defeat.
That means the pool is far from over as Racing 92 and Castres remain in the mix. Leicester head to Limerick on the back of a 32-25 loss at Wasps while Munster impressed in their 36-10 victory over the struggling Ospreys. Van Graan has inherited a strong squad that has a perfect mix of youth and experience and despite ongoing speculation surrounding the likes of CJ Stander and Peter O'Mahony's future, Munster's focus will be centred on claiming yet another European home win.
James Hart has been playing very well of late but a returning Conor Murray's quality should give the Irish province greater direction at the base and we expect them to be too much for their English visitors.
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To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs Bob Wojnowski and John Niyo discuss the Lions' upcoming game with the Buccaneers and look back at the debacle of having only nine defenders on the filed to face the Ravens. Detroit NewsDetroit News pundits are split on who will win between the Lions and the Bucs on Sunday.
Justin Rogers: With a look of a desperate team, the Lions come out hot for a change, but have to hold on late. Lions, 27-23James Hawkins: The Lions and Buccaneers are both falling apart. Buccaneers, 21-17John Niyo: They've seen the enemy, and it is them.
And unlike Baltimore, the Bucs aren't in the playoff mix. Lions, 24-17Bob Wojnowski: The Lions are fading and battered, but so are the Buccaneers. So if the Lions have anything left, this is the place to show it. Log inSubscribe today for full access on your desktop, tablet, and mobile device.
Subscribe NowAlready a print edition subscriber, but don't have a login. Activate your digital access. Manage your account settings. Prints charming: biometric security reaches the billions.
Deloitte Global predicts that the active base of fingerprint-reader-equipped devices will top one billion for the first time in early 2017. There are multiple private and public organizations which should consider how best to exploit the growing base of fingerprint readers and the large number of individuals who have become accustomed to using them on their phones.