I've only been in a MRAP a couple times. I'm a Stryker guy by nature. But from only those few times, yes, it wasn't what was needed in Afghanistan. The roads as they say below are absolutely horrible. From what I've read this has a lot of promise. I'm looking forward to going for a spin.
Ask any soldier who's been to both countries: Afghanistan is not Iraq. It's a different war against a different enemy in a different country with an entirely different terrain and altitude.
One thing is the same, though. The Improvised Explosive Device — the deadly "IED" roadside bombs that blew up Humvees and the soldiers inside them along the dusty roads of Iraq — is an equally effective weapon in the rocky steeps of Afghanistan.
When the Humvee proved unable to withstand IED attacks in Iraq, the U.S. military built a new vehicle — the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) — to replace it. And like a neglected sibling, the troops in Afghanistan automatically acquired the MRAP as a hand-me-down. It's the wrong vehicle for the new war
Enter the M-ATV.
A scaled-down, all-terrain, four-wheel offspring of the larger MRAP, the M-ATV is one of the first tactical vehicles designed specifically with Afghanistan in mind, and the Defense Department has put an urgent priority on getting it into the war zone by the end of this year.
“The M-ATV is designed to have the same level of protection as the previous MRAPs, but with the mobility of a Humvee,” says Steve Field, spokesman for BAE Systems, one of several competing manufacturers designing this vehicle of the future.