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    New MRAP tackles the toughest terrain for MEB-Afghanistan

    New MRAP tackles the toughest terrain for MEB-Afghanistan

    Photo By Cpl. Michael Curvin | The first Mine Resistant Ambush Protected-All Terrain Vehicle to arrive in Helmand...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Michael Curvin 

    2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade

    CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan — A tougher, more rugged vehicle can now be seen on the roads in the Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan's area of operations.

    The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected — All Terrain Vehicle arrived here, Nov. 16, offering the same protection as larger MRAP's, but also the capabilities of performing missions traditionally carried out by smaller humvees.

    Designed for small unit combat operations, the M-ATV features a V-shaped hull that helps deflect roadside-bomb explosions away from its crew.

    The vehicle's design also delivers more comfort to the crew, as well as safety from different blast angles. Sporting an extended wheel base, the M-ATV keeps its crew a safe distance away from pressure plate improvised explosive devices, many of which are designed to detonate when tires roll over them.

    The M-ATV is not only mine, ballistic and IED resistant, it can roll through the desert without all the bumps encountered with the humvee.

    "The M-ATV is coming equipped with an independent suspension," Ramsey said. "Having independent suspension gives much better terrain negotiation."

    Each wheel is able to move freely, regardless of the axle to which it's attached, allowing the M-ATV to easily navigate rocky terrain.

    "It will allow Marines to get into more restrictive terrain," Ramsey said. "We think it's going to be a huge benefit for the Marines."

    Most Marines will welcome the comfort, but many will also be excited about the power. Sporting a 7.2-liter diesel engine, the M-ATV can reach 30 miles per hour in less than 11 seconds, despite weighing more than 25,000 pounds.

    The vehicle also tackles terrain at speeds the humvee could not, even when going up steep inclines.

    "Going up hills is nothing for the M-ATV," said Lance Cpl. Mario Rivera, a motor transportation operator with Brigade Headquarters Group, MEB-Afghanistan. "Other vehicles take forever to go up. Not this one."

    Ramsey said the brigade expects to receive more than 500 of the new vehicles in the coming weeks. The M-ATVs currently here will be used to train future operators.



    Date Taken: 11.21.2009
    Date Posted: 11.21.2009 07:01
    Story ID: 41862

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