US firm Navistar Defense has been contracted to supply the Afghan National Security Forces with nearly 2,300 mine resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, based on the company's 7000-MV
platform, according to a company press release
. The US Army Contracting Command handed the company a $369 million contract for the vehicles, which will bring the total number of Navistar vehicles sent to the Afghan government to nearly 9,000. The company has also exported
the 7000-MV platform to Iraq. The new MRAPs will reportedly serve in a variety of roles, including ammunition, fuel and troop transport.
Navistar subsidiary International Military and Government LLC (IMG) in, Warrenville, IL has won billions of dollars in MRAP program contracts, to produce several variants of its blast-resistant vehicles. The Category I MRUV vehicle’s role is similar to a Hummer’s, albeit with more carrying capacity and much more protection. That has become a staple for IMG’s entry, dubbed the “MaxxPro” by its manufacturer. Their collaboration with an Israeli firm who provides up-armored vehicles for the Marines successfully overcame lukewarm initial interest, but even successful survivors of Aberdeen’s tests where challenged to offer enough protection against the ERP class of land mines that began to appear in Iraq.
Nevertheless, the MRAP program became a production race – and Navistar did very well under those competitive terms. In the end the military’s desire for standardization of its fleets exerted something of a gravitation pull on the competition. A July 2007 order vaulted Navistar into 1st place for initial MRAP Program vehicles ordered, but the US Army is divesting many of its vehicles – creating opportunities for foreign buyers…