Tuesday, July 29, 2008

MRAP As Mother Ship

MRAPs have been so successful in Iraq that they are now taking on new duties.
Some 12 ton Cougar 6x6 MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) have been modified and used successfully as RVSs (Reconnaissance Vehicle Systems). These are used for combat reconnaissance (along a road that might have roadside bombs) as well as route clearance (getting rid of the roadside bombs). To that end, the RVS is equipped with a remotely controlled (from inside the RVS) 12.7mm machine-gun turret, blue force tracker (to see where all other friendly vehicles are) and several external vidcams. The most interesting feature is a robot deployment and recovery system. The robot has its own armored compartment, and it can exit the RVS, check out a suspected roadside bomb, and return to the RVS, all without exposing any of the human crew to enemy fire.
Acting as a mother ship for the troops, a hardened place to hide and observe from.
The RVSs cost about a million dollars each, and have been very successful in combat.
You wonder how much the fast delivery of MRAPs had on the overall success of the surge. I would bet plenty.

More here.

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