WASHINGTON - The Defense Department is expected to top its year-end goal of delivering 1,500 mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles to Iraq as soon as tomorrow, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters. Morrell's announcement came as DoD announced the award of just under $2.66 billion to purchase an additional 3,126 of the heavily armored, V-hulled vehicles by July 31.
A Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected (MRAP) prototype vehicle is displayed on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 26, 2007. The MRAP is designed to help protect military troops from mines and improvised explosive devices in Iraq. This prototype is currently being tested in Aberdeen, Md. Defense Dept. photo by William D. Moss
The latest MRAP contract will bring to 11,900 the number of vehicles under contract. "Our objective is to build at least 15,374," Morrell said. Morrell said it's unlikely that the Marine Corps' recent decision to reduce its MRAP requirement from 3,600 to 2,300 will affect the Army's MRAP request or the overall joint requirement. The number actually could increase as the Army evaluates its needs, and as commanders in Afghanistan express an interest in getting more MRAPs, he said.
Media representatives and other visitors examine a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, or MRAP, during an orientation by the Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD., August 24, 2007. Defense Dept. photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly A. Burgess
"Commanders in Afghanistan are of the mind that they would like more there than originally requested," Morrell said. "Their inclination at this point is that we may want to up the number in Afghanistan.
"These armored trucks... have been the military's top acquisition priority for months now, and with good reason," Morrell said. "They have proven to be true lifesavers for our warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, or MRAPs, were on display at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Aug. 24, 2007. The vehicles have raised, V-shaped underbellies, that deflect the force of improvised explosive devices and other blasts from below better than other vehicles in use. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly A. Burgess
As of Dec. 17, 1,300 MRAPs were in the theater, Morrell reported. Another 180 are en route by sea aboard USNS Pililaau, a large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship operated by Military Sealift Command that left Charleston, S.C., Dec. 13. In addition, another 15 MRAPs are in the air headed to Iraq.
These vehicles will bring the number of MRAPs delivered to 1,525, exceeding the department's year-end goal. "Everything has proceeded on schedule," Morrell said.
CONTRACT FOR BULL MRAP VEHICLES
Ideal Innovations, Inc., Oshkosh Truck Corporation and Ceradyne, Inc. announced that they have been awarded a delivery order of $18.1 million by the government to produce and deliver Category 1 (6-man) variants and targets of The Bull Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle to the U.S. Marine Corps Joint MRAP program office. The vehicles are to be delivered in the first quarter of calendar year 2008 and will be used for further government testing of their Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) resistant capabilities. Improving upon current MRAP vehicle protection and mobility capabilities, these vehicles are designated as MRAP II type vehicles. This delivery order will be shipped against a $12.5 billion indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract. The companies record as firm orders and backlog only delivery orders, such as the above $18.1 million, that have firm scheduled delivery dates.
Army Col. John Rooney, commander of the U.S. Army Test Center, speaks before an orientation of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., August 24, 2007. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly A. Burgess
The Bull, an MRAP II armored combat vehicle, is manufactured on an existing military chassis, manufactured by Oshkosh Truck, designed for off-road operations with parts, logistics, manuals and training, all of which are currently available within the Department of Defense system as part of the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) Truck Program. The new vehicle features an undercarriage design with V-shaped plates that deflect, rather than absorb, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and mine blasts from below. The integrated design crew compartment, manufactured by Ceradyne, helps to protect the crew with an advanced armor designed to defeat IEDs and Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs), the most dangerous threats faced today by marines and soldiers in Iraq.
Soldiers from Company B, 1-30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, drive a new mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, or MRAP, through an off-road confidence course at Camp Liberty, Iraq, Nov. 7, 2007. Photo by Sgt. Michael Connors, USA
On October 2, 2007, I-3, Oshkosh Truck, and Ceradyne, Inc. announced that they had delivered their initial two test vehicles to the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center. The government solicitation to industry was posted on July 31, which gave vendors 60 days to submit their proposals and vehicles for blast and road testing. The positive results displayed by the initial test vehicles have paved the way for additional user testing on the 6 vehicles which will follow.
A mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle drives onto a commercial vessel at the Naval Weapons Station in Charleston, S.C. U.S. Transportation Command coordinated the transportation of more than 100 MRAPs to the U.S. Central Command area of operations, marking the first large-scale sealift movement of the life-saving vehicles. Photo by Senior Airman Micky M. Bazaldua, USAF
About Oshkosh Truck Corporation
Oshkosh Truck Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, military, fire and emergency and commercial vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh's products are valued worldwide by rental companies, defense forces, fire and emergency units, municipal and airport support services and concrete placement and refuse businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount. For more information, log on to www.oshkoshtruckcorporation.com.
About Ideal Innovation, Inc.
I-3 is a worldwide consulting firm that provides innovative solutions for government and private industry to meet their most pressing technological, scientific, managerial and security requirements. I-3 was recently ranked the second fastest-growing government services company and the 46th fastest growing company in t he nation on the Inc. 500. For more information, visit www.idealinnovations.com. (TM) is a trademark of Ideal Innovations, Inc.
About Ceradyne, Inc.
Ceradyne develops, manufactures and markets advanced technical ceramic products and components for defense, industrial, automotive/diesel and commercial applications. Additional information about the Company can be found at www.ceradyne.com