The Oshkosh M-ATV – MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle developed by the Oshkosh Corporation of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It is designed to provide the same levels of protection as the larger and heavier previous MRAPs but with improved mobility and it is intended to replace M1114 HMMWVs. (wikipedia) (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
First of the M-ATVs on its way to Afghanistan (wikipedia)
A Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP; pronounced /ˈɛmræp/ em-rap) is a family of armored fighting vehicles design led by the United States Marine Corps in use by the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Forces with the goal of surviving IED attacks and ambushes - prompted by US deaths in Iraq. The first developments in armored vehicles designed specifically to counter the land mine threat took place during the 1972-1980 Rhodesian Bush War and the technology was subsequently matured in South Africa.
There is no common MRAP vehicle design; there are several vendors, each with a competing entry. Originally Brig. General Michael Brogan, and now Brig. General Frank Kelley, Commander, United States Marine Corps Systems Command, is in charge of the Marine MRAP program. Mr. Kevin Fahey, U.S. Army Program Executive Officer for Command Support and Combat Service Support, manages the Army MRAP program. The Marine Corps had planned to replace all Humvees in combat zones with MRAP vehicles, although this appears to have changed. As armored vehicles are considered an "urgent need" in Afghanistan, this program is primarily funded under an "emergency war budget". On 8 May 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that the acquisition of MRAPs are the Department of Defense's highest priority, so for fiscal year 2007 US$1.1 billion is earmarked for MRAP. Gates decided to ramp up MRAP orders after the Marines reported in 2004 that no troops had died in more than 300 IED attacks on Cougars As of May 6, 2008 eight soldiers had been reported killed in the thousands of MRAPs in Iraq, according to news service Knight Ridder.
SARHOWZA, AFGHANISTAN - DECEMBER 3: Soldiers from the Army's Blackfoot Company 1st Battalion 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment roll out of the Sarhowza District Center in an MRAP on December 3, 2009 near Sarhowza, Afghanistan. The U.S Army shares the district center with Afghan National Police which they are training to take over the lead role for security in the district. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
MOHMAN DARA, AFGHANISTAN - AUGUST 29: A U.S. Army Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle parks near a cellphone and communications tower on August 29, 2011 in Mohman Dara, Afghanistan. Some 10,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NOW ZAD, AFGHANISTAN - APRIL 04: An armored U.S. Marine MRAP vehicle sits disabled after it ran over a Taliban roadside bomb on April 4, 2009 in Now Zad in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The blast blew off much of the front end of the vehicle, but Marines from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment inside were not injured in the explosion. The insurgent attack came a day after the Marines launched a major assault on Taliban forces nearby. Taliban insurgents use IEDs against U.S. forces as their most effective weapon against the stronger conventional military force. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
TORKHAM, AFGHANISTAN - AUGUST 26: A U.S. patrol driving in Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles moves out of Forward Operating Base Torkham on August 26, 2011 in Torkham, Afghanistan. Almost ten years since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. has more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and in is expected to spend some $120 billion on the Afghan war effort in 2011 alone. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
DELAVARKHA HALACHEB, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 06: U.S. Army PFC William Molina with Task Force Thor Route Clearance Patrol from 23rd Engineering Company, Airborne takes a break in the back of an MRAP during a day-long mission July 6, 2010 near Delavarkha Halacheb, Afghanistan. The U.S. Army route clearance unit uses specialized equipment to seek out improvised explosive devices (IED) on roads throughout Afghanistan to prevent military patrols and civilians from being hit by the homemade roadside bombs that have injured and killed hundreds of NATO troops and locals. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
JELUWAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 05: A U.S. Army soldier with a route clearance unit from 3rd Platoon, 123rd Engineer Company, 105th Engineer Battalion guides an MRAP vehicle after driving from Kandahar Airfield July 5, 2010 in Jeluwar, Afghanistan. The U.S. Army route clearance unit uses specialized equipment to seek out improvised explosive devices (IED) on roads throughout Afghanistan to prevent military patrols and civilians from being hit by the homemade roadside bombs that have injured and killed hundreds of troops and locals. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
CAMP DWYER, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 10: A mine-clearing MRAP with an expendable trailer is parked as US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta takes a tour during an unannounced visit to Camp Dwyer July 10, 2011 in Afghanistan. During a surprise visit to Afghanistan and Iraq and his first as Defense Secretary, Panetta declared that the United States is 'within reach' of 'strategically defeating' Al Qaeda as a terrorist threat. (Photo by Paul J. Richards-Pool/Getty Images)
KHAN NESHIN, AFGHANISTAN - MARCH 13: (FRANCE OUT) US Marines with the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion try to free an MRAP vehicle stuck in the mud during a mission around Khan Neshin on March 13, 2010 in southern Helmand province, Afghanistan. The terrain around rural Khan Neshin is without paved roads and is notoriously treacherous for the Marines' heavy vehicles, which can get suddenly mired in hard-to-see muddy patches. The Marines at Khan Neshin are the southernmost troops in Afghanistan, using the earthen walls of an ancient Afghan castle as a base to monitor activity in this hotbed of smuggling and insurgency near the southern border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
JELUWAR, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 06: A U.S. Army MRAP with Task Force Thor Route Clearance Patrol from 23rd Engineering Company, Airborne pushes rollers through sand during a day-long route clearance mission July 6, 2010 in Jeluwar, Afghanistan. The U.S. Army route clearance unit uses specialized equipment to seek out improvised explosive devices (IED) on roads throughout Afghanistan to prevent military patrols and civilians from being hit by the homemade roadside bombs that have injured and killed hundreds of NATO troops and locals. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
KHUSHI KHONA, HERAT PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN - JUNE 22: A paratrooper in the 4th Brigade of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division enters an MRAP vehicle at dawn after over-nighting in a field during a mission June 22, 2010 in Khushi Khona, Afghanistan, in the northern reaches of Herat Province near the Turkmenistan border. An element of the 82nd Airborne along with NATO Italian troops have been working for nearly a year in this historic area of Afghanistan, dotted with ancient villages just north of the cosmopolitan city of Herat. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)