Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicles
What is it?
Mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles are armored vehicles with a blast-resistant underbody designed to protect the crew from mine blasts, fragmentary and direct fire weapons. There are three categories. Category I vehicles (6 persons or more, including driver) support operations in an urban environment and other restricted/confined spaces, including mounted patrols, reconnaissance, communications, and command and control. Category II vehicles (10 persons or more, including driver) provide a reconfigurable vehicle that is capable of supporting multi-mission operations, such as convoy lead, troop transport, explosive ordnance disposal, ambulance, and combat engineering. Category III vehicles support mine and improvised explosive device (IED) clearance operations and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD). The MRAP family of vehicles provides the Joint Service deployed Commanders with survivable ground mobility platforms. The Secretary of Defense has designated the MRAP Vehicle Program the highest priority Department of Defense acquisition program.
What has the Army done?
To rapidly meet operational needs, a sole source contract was awarded on Nov. 9, 2006, for 200 Category II and up to 80 Category III vehicles to bridge the urgent operational requirements. A competitive acquisition was planned and executed to acquire the balance of vehicles needed. On Jan. 27, 2007, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity multiple award contracts were given to nine vendors that initially demonstrated capabilities to meet the program’s stated objectives for MRAP vehicles. Each of the awardees received an initial delivery order for two test vehicles per category to include associated vehicle support. These vehicles were subjected to comprehensive automotive and ballistic testing, both before and following the integration of government-furnished equipment and mission equipment packages.
The requirements for MRAP vehicles have continued to grow from the initial 1,185 vehicles, through the 7,774 vehicles cited in the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC)-validated Capabilities Production Document (CPD) of May 2007, to an interim requirement of 15,374 vehicles validated in September 2007. The production capability of multiple vendors employing commercial off-the-shelf technology is being leveraged to meet the program’s overarching objective of producing and fielding the maximum number of survivable, safe, and sustainable MRAP vehicles in the shortest period of time.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Testing of the vehicles is ongoing and will include assessments of planned upgrades and potential future variants.
Why is this important to the Army?
The MRAP family of vehicles provides Soldiers multimission-role platforms designed to protect crews from IEDs, underbody mines, and small-arms fire threats that are currently the greatest casualty producers in Iraq and Afghanistan.