The fleet of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles just grew by another 1,170. The Marine Corps announced placement of an additional order for the lifesaving vehicles. This latest order brings the total placed to date to 4,935.
The Marine Corps awarded Stewart and Stevenson Tactical Vehicle Systems LP, a Division of Armor Holdings, the order under a previous Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract. The order, valued at $518.5 million, requires delivery of 1,154 Category I MRAP vehicles and 16 Category II MRAP vehicles by the end of February 2008.
The MRAP family of vehicles is built with a special V-shaped hull and raised chassis to provide improved protection from mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). There are three categories designed to meet various combat needs. Category I MRAP is designed for urban combat operations. Category II MRAP vehicles are capable of multi-mission operations including convoy lead, troop transport and ambulance service. The Category III MRAP is used by route clearance teams to clear mines, IEDs and dispose of the lethal weapons safely.
“We continue to press forward to meet the urgent need to field these vehicles as quickly as possible,” said Paul Mann, MRAP vehicle program manager. “Everyone is working toward one goal - from the top of the Department of Defense to the production worker responsible for welding. We share a single mission to deliver maximum force protection with extreme urgency.”
In a written statement, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates declared, “The MRAP program should be considered the highest priority Department of Defense acquisition program, and any and all options to accelerate production and fielding of this capability to the theater should be identified, assessed and applied where feasible.”