June 5, 2012
What will the Pentagon do with about 6,000 excess MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles) after the major Army and Marine Corps combat elements leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014? The MRAPs are worth more than $4 billion.
Perhaps just as important is where will the Army and Marines get the funds to operate, maintain and replace the roughly 20,000 they have tentatively decided to keep as standard equipment?
MRAPs are the family of heavily armored vehicles with unique
V-shaped hulls that were rapidly designed and produced beginning in 2006 to protect against improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, which have been the main cause of deaths and injuries to U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010, the predecessor personnel carrier, the HMMWV, or Humvee, had an occupancy death rate of 80 percent when hit by IEDs, according to a January 2011 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The MRAP’s fatality rate during the same period was 15 percent, a result that may have saved dozens of lives a month, the CRS said.