May 29, 2012

Army refining long-term MRAP plan

by Kris Osborn
Army News

The first shipment of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles arrived at Camp Liberty in western Baghdad in 2007. With all of the MRAPs in Iraq now retrograded, G-8 officials are refining long-range plans for the Army’s fleet of 20,000.

The U.S. Army is in the process of refining a long-term plan for its fleet of 20,000 blast-deflecting, mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, known as MRAPs, service officials explained.

Some of the MRAPS will be placed in brigade combat team configurations for as-needed troop transport and route clearance missions; some will be put in storage facilities and others will be kept for training purposes, according to Department of the Army G-8 officials.

“The MRAPs were a very successful program,” said Col. Mark Barbosa, chief, Focused Logistics Division, Director of Material, G-8. “The $45-billion investment had Office of the Secretary of Defense, or OSD, oversight, with very strong support in Congress. The platform was rushed to theater to protect our soldiers and it did very well. In order to meet the timelines we needed to meet, we had to go to multiple vendors and we had to go to very large quantities.”

Now that the war in Iraq is over and plans for an Afghan drawdown are underway, the Army is outlining a long-term plan for the vehicles to place roughly 60 percent of them in storage or prepositioned stocks, 30 percent of them with units and about 10 percent of the fleet for home-based troop training. In addition, a small number will be divested, Barbosa said.

At the same time, the MRAP plans are a key part of the calculus of the Army’s overall fleet strategy which, among the flagship program, plans to incrementally field the new, next-generation Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV. The now-in-development JLTV, a new, high-tech light tactical vehicle to begin fielding by 2016, is being engineered with MRAP-like protection at a much lighter weight.

“The JLTV will bring the MRAP-level protection that we need, and the on-board power we will need for current and future networks. Also, the JLTV will have an off-road mobility and system reliability that will exceed what we have in MRAPs,” said Tim Goddette, director of sustainment systems for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, or ASA.

Overall, MRAPs only represent about seven percent of the Army’s wheeled vehicle inventory; by contrast, the Army plans to have JLTVs make up roughly one-quarter of its total tactical wheeled vehicle fleet, officials said. In essence, the Army plans to acquire as many as 50,000 JLTVs by 2035, they said.

The JLTV, which has finished up its Technology Development phase aimed at refining requirements, is now poised to enter the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase of the program. It is being built with an unprecedented blend of protection, payload capability and performance for a light tactical vehicle, officials said.

“Even after the war, MRAPs are going to continue to play an important role as an interim capability for the next ten years until JLTV comes on line in sufficient quantities,” Goddette said.

Goddette also explained that the reset and sustainment process for the current MRAP fleet will involve ongoing work at Army depots such as the Red River Depot, Texas, and Letterkenny Depot, Penn., aimed at bringing more of the vehicles into a common configuration.

“When we reset the vehicles, we want to use the opportunity to bring the vehicles into a common configuration; this will help us get more efficient with sustainment and training,” Goddette said.

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



Defense cuts could hit civilian workforce

Tens of thousands of civilian employees in the Defense Department could receive warnings about potential layoffs four days before the November election if impending spending cuts aren’t averted, hitting presidential battleground states such as Virginia and Florida hard. The alerts would come in addition to any that major defense contractors might send out at the...
Air Force photograph by SSgt. William P. Coleman

Training exercises enhance international relations

Air Force photograph by SSgt. William P. Coleman Colombian air force Kfir aircraft prepare for a mission during Red Flag 12-4 July 18, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. A U.S. Air Force pilot rides in the backseat of a Kfir ...

Airbus owner EADS ups targets, delays A350

Airbus parent company EADS NV July 27 announced a further delay to its new A350 aircraft as it reported second-quarter earnings that almost quadrupled from a year ago. Net profit at the Leiden, Netherlands-based European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company was $567 million, up from $148 million in the same period a year ago. Sales...

Courtesy photograph

Boeing receives 10th WGS satellite order from U.S. Air Force

Courtesy photograph The Wideband Global SATCOM satellite is the successor to the Defense Satellite Communications System-III. One WGS satellite has about 12 times the bandwidth of a DSCS-III satellite. EL SEGUNDO, Calif. –...

Lockheed Martin’s Gyrolinkâ„¢ selected for U.S. Army’s R-VOSS program

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $21.4 million contract from the U.S. Army for its commercial GyroLinkâ„¢ system for the Remote – Vehicle Optics Sensor System program. GyroLink provides a real-time full motion video network that transmits video across military vehicles at significant distances. This allows members of a route-clearance patrol to use monitors inside...

News Briefs – July 30, 2012

Mechanical failure blamed in Arizona Harrier crash Military officials say early findings point to mechanical failure in the crash of a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier attack jet on a training mission in southwestern Arizona. The AV-8B Harrier went down July 25 afternoon about 15 miles northwest of the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma near the...


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>