Friday, November 14, 2008

MRAP lite is M-ATV

Kris Osborn of DefenseNews reports a Pentagon decision to ramp up the call for a version of the MRAP better suited to off-road use. In other words, a version more useful in Afghanistan.

Navistar scored the first big win in that program earlier this year with an order for its MaxxPro Dash (link shows image of the MaxxPro Plus and MaxxPro Dash side by side). The program has been dubbed "MRAP All-Terrain Vehicles," or M-ATV.

This development suggests a longer development period for the JLTV coinciding with the delay imposed by the Northrop Grumman/Oshkosh and Boeing/Textron protests. Vehicles such as the Force Protection Cheetah, BAE Systems (Armor Holdings) Caiman LT and the Oshkosh Sandcat will remain in play, and companies who succeed in the M-ATV competition will have the opportunity to bolster their chances in the JLTV competition.

On a related note:

BAE Systems has posted a .pdf at its Web site describing the Caiman 4x4. Given the copyright date (2008) and the description of the vehicle's weight ("2/3 the weight of the Caiman"), it seems reasonable to see the vehicle as the CLT despite the absence of that acronym from the document. Page one includes a photo of the the truck.

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