Trucks to Produce Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles

by : Anthony Fontanelle

Oshkosh Trucks has always been known for producing severe-duty trucks. They have been also known to produce fire trucks, ambulances, concrete mixers, trash haulers, tow trucks, and snow plow trucks. All of these vehicles have been quite popular and has been recognized to offer reliability and endurance. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the company has been commissioned by the US Marine Corps to produce military vehicles.

The company recently announced that they have been awarded by the US Marine Corps Systems Command with a $30.6 million contract. The production grant is for the assembly of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. These vehicles will be employed by the said government agency in battlefields where US troops are currently deployed.

Oshkosh Trucks will be producing 100 units of the CategoryI1 MRAP and the first batch of which will be delivered within 120 days as per specified by the US Marine Corps. The speedy production is needed since the US Marine Corps has an urgent demand for such vehicles. Aside from this though, Oshkosh has already produced vehicles for the military and this may be one of the reasons why they have been chosen to undertake the production of the MRAP vehicles.

The MRAP vehicle program by the US Marine Corps needs more or less 4,100 Category I and Category II vehicles. The government is expected to spend more than $2 billion in the said undertaking. Aside from the production cost of the vehicles, the government is also expected to spend more in the long run since these vehicles will be constantly up-armored to cope with the situation in the battlefields which can prove to be tough and really rough. The Category I vehicles that Oshkosh will be producing is the smaller of the two MRAP vehicles. These are intended for urban warfare and are referred to as the Mine Resistant Utility Vehicle.

Following the awarding of the production grant, Robert G. Bohn, the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Oshkosh Trucks has commented that: "Oshkosh is prepared to meet and exceed the critical delivery and protection requirements of the US Marine Corps and the MRAP program. The armored vehicles we have proposed are engineered to save lives in the face of today's asymmetric warfare threats such as mines and IEDs. Our production and engineering capabilities will ensure the rapid delivery of world-class armored vehicles as the MRAP program continues to develop."

The MRAP program is a joint venture between the Marine Corps and the US Army. The program is under the Rapid Deployment Capability authority - the aim of which is to deploy armored vehicles for the US troops in theatre or place of conflict. Oshkosh is only one of the nine companies which have been awarded a production contract under the MRAP program.

Aside from the production of these vehicles, Oshkosh will also provide long-term support for the MRAP vehicles. Bohn emphasized on this fact in his statement. "We are also prepared to provide long term logistics support required by a deployed MRAP fleet. Oshkosh has the experience and infrastructure in place in the theater of operation to provide whatever level of support is required. We have maintained and up-armored thousands of vehicles, of many makes and models, at our facilities in theater over the past four years. Service installations and field service representatives are already in place, ready to support the MRAP fleet of vehicles as soon as it is operational."

Needles to say, these trucks that will be produced by Oshkosh for the Marine Corps will be as tough and as durable as , maybe even tougher. Thanks to their V-shaped hull, these vehicles are designed to deflect the force from explosion from mines and improvised explosive devices or IEDs.