“More MRAPs: Navistar’s MaxxPro,” covered the growing threat of EFP (Explosively-Formed Penetrator) land mines in Iraq, which fire into the side of a vehicle like a tank round. PVI & RAFAEL’s MRAP Cat-II Golan vehicle is already prepared to counter them – if fitted with explosive reactive armor that’s designed in from the outset as an invisible upgrade over conventional armoring. Other MRAP manufacturers have also been scrambling to find solutions via bolt on kits, or even different armoring schemes entirely.
With or without the kits, those MRAP vehicles will certainly help soldiers and specialists on patrol – but what about the logistics & support forces delivering fuel and other key supplies, who must move most of it by road? Why not give them a similar level of protection? In March 2007, the US Army’s Ballistic Protection Experiment underwent testing, as the final step in a $2.1 million September 2006 contract funded in part by the US Army Rapid Equipping Force.
After sponsoring several proof-of-principle shots at Aberdeen to ensure the armor would work, the contract asked Ideal Innovations Inc. and Ceradyne Vehicle Armor Systems to build 2 trucks in 5 months, with the ability to defeat threats that included EFP land mines, while demonstrating desired driving durability & mobility. The partnership finished on time and on budget. More important, their vehicles passed the tests, and gave birth to a new integrated truck up-armoring system dubbed BULL. It’s an MRAP-II program contender for troop roles, and an offer has also been made to equip American logistics vehicles in theater.
Our last update addressed rumors that their vehicle has failed MRAP-II testing at Aberdeen. Normally, that’s a rumor that can’t be answered – but we thought we had one. That seems to have been the correct answer, because they have just received an order…