Army To Field Mine Resistant Ambush Protected-Walker Vehicle
From our friends at The Duffel Blog
The Army MRAP has been the subject of intense defense budget debates, most of which trend toward austerity. The options have run the gamut of scrapping the 26,000 strong fleet, selling to willing buyers like Israel and Saudi Arabia, or even to re-invading Iraq, with limited success. However, some recent advancement in robotics technology have offered the Pentagon another means of preserving the MRAP fleet as what can only be described as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Walkers (MRAP-W).
The initial $5.7 million plan from BAE Systems calls for the retro-fitting of 4 heavy armor fifty-foot legs in place of the already gargantuan wheels. There were also new offensive weapons mounted into the front of the walker, so as to provide offensive means both forward and underneath the vehicle. An unnamed official at the Pentagon stated the plan was “the most efficient and bitchin’ thing we’ve seen since the first MRAP rolled off the line.”
The Osh Kosh Corporation is also planning to introduce a smaller Mine Resistant All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), a two-legged version for the Marine Corps later this year.
“We’re extremely excited,” said Kevin Fahey, a contractor with U.S. Army Program Executive Office on a recent tour of Red River Depot. “This vehicle has saved a lot of lives. While that was its intended purpose, with the mission in Iraq over and the drawdown in Afghanistan well under way, we had to pull out all the stops to not only save the program, but increase the vehicle’s overall effectiveness, and strike terror into hearts our enemies. That’s a twofer.”