U.S. troops in Afghanistan will soon have a new vehicle on their hands. The U.S. military is bringing an MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), known as the Baby MRAP, to teams on the ground.
M-ATV: The Baby MRAP
The Baby MRAP is described as being made for “mobility and survivability.” The four-wheel all-terrain vehicle is being designed specifically for the rough conditions in Afghanistan. BAE Systems, the company creating the M-ATV, calls the vehicle a lighter and more mobile version of its first-generation MRAP. It matches the MRAP’s protection level while adding in the mobility of a Humvee, the company says.
The Baby MRAP weighs less than 9 tons and is said to provide better dash and slope speeds than any ground vehicle currently in the U.S. military’s fleet. It also boasts a low center of gravity to make off-roading easy and the risk of rolling over minimal.
BAE’s M-ATV uses a turbo-charged diesel V8 engine that can support speeds up to 80 mph. It provides 20 kilowatts of auxiliary power for on-board equipment.
Other features of the Baby MRAP, according to a recent media report:
• IED jammers
• V-shaped blast-dispersing monocoque hull
• Significantly increased power-to-weight ratio
• The ability to ford hard-bottom fresh water to depths of up to 5 feet. (M-ATV is not amphibious)
• Generate 10 kilowatts of vehicle host power and export an additional 20 kilowatts for mission equipment
• Turbo-charged diesel V8 engine
• Shorter wheelbase for improved cross-country mobility
• Lower center of gravity for increased maneuverability and to prevent rollovers
• Ergonomic steering angle to “drive like an SUV”
• “Runflat” tire system allowing the M-ATV to safely cruise at 30 mph on up to two flat tires
The Baby MRAP unit will cost about half the price of its predecessor — $500,000, compared to $1 million for the previous MRAP model. The Department of Defense is aiming to have the units arrive in Afghanistan before the end of the year, FOX News reports.