M-ATV builder Oshkosh, and the Marine Corps program office that manages M-ATVs, didn’t much like the story we ran the other day from our embedded correspondent Christian Lowe who reported that troops in Afghanistan are no longer allowed off base in anything but heavily armored IED-resistant vehicles. Well, they liked parts of the story.
This part where Christian reported what soldiers were telling him about the M-ATV gave them fits: “But what the M-ATVs gain in agility, they give up in protection against IEDs. Soldiers here say the M-ATV protects against roadside bombs better than an up-armored Humvee, but not much.”
We told Oshkosh that in the interests of fairness, we’d let them have their say as to the effectiveness of M-ATVs in Afghanistan. Ken Juergens, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense, emailed the following:
“The Oshkosh M-ATV meets the same government-specified survivability requirements as MRAPs in service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Troop protection is a driving force behind everything we do at Oshkosh, from design through production and aftermarket support of our vehicles. We worked with renowned armor developer Plasan North America to design and manufacture the M-ATV for outstanding survivability to protect the Warfighter in the rugged off-road and mountainous terrain that makes up Afghanistan’s battlefields.
Plasan’s battle-tested armor solutions have proven successful for multiple in-theater operations, including on MRAPs currently in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, protection kits and bolt-on armor permit in-theater upgrades and repairs to meet mission demands with quick turnaround times. The M-ATV underwent government testing and delivers MRAP-equivalent protection capabilities.”
And, from the Marine Corps MRAP corporate communications office we got the following:
“The M-ATV meets the MRAP survivability threshold. This was a Government requirement. The vehicle is capable of protecting the crew against threats and still provide enhanced off-road mobility as specified in the Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) in support of the warfighters mission.”The people we really want to hear from is you readers, particularly anybody who has operated M-ATVs in Afghanistan. Let us know what you think about these vehicles, their mobility and the protection they provide.
-- Greg Grant