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Iraq has a network of smooth roads on flat terrain. In Afghanistan, most roads are paths of rocks and dirt, and the MRAP is ill suited for navigating its mountainous environments. The MRAP's 36,000 pounds more than 10,000 pounds heavier than the M ATV have given drivers headaches as theyfigure out how to maneuver around tight corners and up large hills.
On Afghanistan's rough dirt roads, however, the new $500,000 to $1 million Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle is a major improvement over the massive Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle it's replacing, soldiers say. The M ATV is tailored to Afghanistan, at least parts of it, and the Pentagon is sending about 5,000 of them to the battlefield.
Worse, McClatchy Newspapers reported last month that Afghan insurgents had found vulnerabilities in the MRAP, attacking convoys with explosive charges Michael Kors Vivian Quilted Bag
"Most of the switches in the M ATVs are easy to reach," said Spc. Chris Vaughn of Nashville, Ga. "The commander Michael Kors Handbag Price
"Just hold on; it's not going to get any better," said Spc. Eric Frank, a native of Orlando, Fla., who was sitting in the passenger seat. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and noncommercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.
The M Michael Kors Purses New Collection ATV's dashboard is easier to use, and radio signals come in as clearly as a telephone conversation does.
On their way to Bagram, the guardsmen got one last taste of the old ride.
One of the new vehicle's major advantages is that unlike the MRAP, it isn't confined to Afghanistan's few heavy duty roads, a limitation that helped insurgents know where to plant IEDs. However, the steep mountains of eastern Afghanistan and the orchards and deep irrigation ditches in parts of the south will limit even the 12.5 ton MATV's movements.
military's new allterrain vehicle doesn't look all that different from its lumbering predecessor. It's painted desert sand, and reaching the cabin still means climbing a couple of steps.
"It gives us the same protection as the MRAPs," said Lt. Col. Michael Fordham, a reservist from outside Savannah, Ga., and the executive officer of the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade.
Maneuvering his MRAP up the foot of the awe striking Hindu Kush mountains, Spc. Tommy Wyatt of Valdosta, Ga., experienced the frustration that many troops in his position have felt before.
"Most military vehicles are designed for someone 5 feet 6 inches, 5 feet 7 inches," said Sgt. Rodriguez Kegler of Albany, Ga. "This is the first vehicle for someone 6 foot like me."
In the cities, the vehicles' lighter frame can make sharp turns and maneuver through Afghanistan's lawless traffic much better than the hulking MRAP can.
The M ATV "keeps you from beating the hell out of your soldiers," said 1st Lt. Chris Stewart of Alma, Ga. "A 12 hour drive in an MRAP beats your soldiers to death."
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Thomas Shedd, a Georgia guardsman from Macon, in calculating the $400,000 life insurance policy the Army provides for all of its deploying soldiers, rationalized the cost of the M ATV this way: "If four soldiers walk out of that vehicle, you just bought two" M ATVs.
The excitement among the Georgia National Guardsmen about their new vehicles, which were lined up at Bagram Air Base when the guardsmen arrived in a convoy, probably was born out of frustration with the MRAP.
For soldiers who had grown accustomed to bruising trips through rural Afghanistan, their first MATVs, which have just been introduced in the field, were early Christmas presents. Seemingly without effort, the vehicles climb mountains at angles that approach 45 degrees, and they glide across the country's rocky roads.
Moreover, it's not safe to assume that insurgents who've devised ways to destroy the heavier MRAP won't in time also figure out how to disable or destroy the smaller M ATV. troops invaded Iraq with paper thin humvees.
According to iCasualties. and coalition troops so far this year, more than triple the number two years ago.
GIs in for a better ride in new vehicle
For soldiers, the M ATV offers other huge advantages over the MRAP, starting with its ride over Michael Kors Coral Wallet
"Just who the hell invented this fg truck?"
that punched projectiles through the vehicle's hull. Improvised explosive devices have caused more than 60 percent of the coalition fatalities from hostilities in Afghanistan so far this year.
The Wisconsin based Oshkosh Corp., which makes the M ATVs, built in an independent suspension system, unlike the MRAP's solid front axle, which links both wheels. If the M ATV's right front tire hits a rock, for example, it responds independently of the left tire. The rock might trip one wheel, but it won't turn the entire axle one way or the other.
Introduced in 2007, the MRAP was the Army's answer to the Iraqi insurgency's deadliest weapon, the improvised explosive device. What worked in Iraq hasn't worked as well in Afghanistan, however.
The military says the new M ATV's lower weight won't mean less protection. Like the MRAP, the M ATV's hull is Vshaped to deflect explosions from the vehicle's crew, but the military is withholding further details of the vehicle's counter IED capabilities.
has access to all communications."
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