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Say Goodbye to the Humvee

The new offering provides underbody and side-armor protection similar to a tank’s, but retains the on-ground and in-theater mobility of an all-terrain vehicle.

Matt Yurus reports: This week marks the beginning of the end for the Humvee.

That’s because the US Army chose Oshkosh Defense to manufacture about 55,000 joint light tactical vehicles (JLTVs) that will become the successors to Humvees and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs). The initial contract awarded to Oshkosh on Tuesday is for $6.7 billion and 17,000 vehicles. The total contract, valued at up to $30 billion, could provide the Wisconsin-based company with work through 2040.

“The Humvee has since accompanied troops in Panama, the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. But now the mainstay military vehicles are being sold off by the dozen, with the bidding starting at $7,500.”

The new offering provides underbody and side-armor protection similar to a tank’s, but retains the on-ground and in-theater mobility of an all-terrain vehicle. The vehicle’s reduced weight allows it to be transported by Chinook helicopters and amphibious vessels, a feat that was largely impossible with MRAPs.

[Read the full story here, at VICE News]

Thousands of MRAPs were purchased in response to the traditional Humvees’ failures to sufficiently protect troops from the widespread use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by Iraqi insurgents in the mid-2000s. It was not unusual for soldiers to stack sandbags on the floors of the vehicles for added protection — and still have to contend with canvas for doors. The introduction of the MRAP solved the protection problem, though it came at the expense of battlefield mobility.

Watch VICE News’ ‘Rearming Iraq: The New Arms Race.’

“Our JLTV has been extensively tested and is proven to provide the ballistic protection of a light tank, the underbody protection of an MRAP-class vehicle, and the off-road mobility of a Baja racer,” John M. Urias, president of Oshkosh Defense, said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Super-Militarization of Law Enforcement Agencies Continues: Dallas County Now Has Its Very Own Bulletproof, “Mine-Protected” Military SUV

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Now that the war in Iraq is officially over and the one in Afghanistan winding down, the Department of Defense found itself facing a conundrum. It had just spent billions of dollars buying heavily armored personnel carriers designed to stand up to insurgent attacks only to find that it had run out of wars to use them in.The initial plan was to shove the vehicles, called MRAPS (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) into a warehouse and let them collect dust. That changed when someone decided that, having served so admirably overseas, it would be only just to bring the MRAPs stateside and deploy them in the domestic war on crime.

And so, for the past couple of months, news reports have been popping up announcing that places like Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Ohio State University have been receiving their very own military-grade armored SUVs.

Now, it’s Dallas’ turn. Read the rest of this entry »