Pictured is an MRAP with the improved suspension designed to better tackle some of the harsh terrain found in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon has ordered more than 1,300 new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, with newly built independent suspension systems designed to improve the blast-protected vehicles' off-road performance in Afghanistan.

The improved suspension is aimed at providing better off-road capability in the rough Afghan terrain. The reconfigured MRAPs are being sent based on feedback from theater commanders and results from ongoing testing, according to Barbara Hamby, MRAP Joint Program Office spokeswoman.

The improved suspension is also being built into the designs for several variants of battle-tested MRAPs. The lighter weight, more mobile MRAPs, which also have improved suspension systems, are slated to arrive in Afghanistan alongside Category I MRAPs that have been configured with a new suspension system.

The contracts, approved in a January memo from Pentagon procurement chief Ashton Carter, ordered 1,050 MaxxPro Dash vehicles from Navistar International, 250 RG 31 MRAPs from General Dynamics Land Systems, Canada, and 58 RG 33 MRAPs from BAE Systems. An order for 1,420 more MRAP All Terrain Vehicles was placed with Oshkosh Defense.

The contracts reflect the latest series of upgrades and improvements being made to the MRAP fleet in response to the lessons learned in combat. "We have and continue to actively pursue vehicle upgrades to meet emerging threats, enhance vehicle mobility and improve automotive performance," said Hamby.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16