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Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Program

Program History 2005-2007

The I Marine Expeditionary Force initially requested 1,169 MRAP vehicles. There were different variants such as, multi-mission combat vehicles, ambulance variant vehicles, troop transport vehicles and so on. The MRAP vehicle's final design and manufacturer had not yet been determined. As of 10 June 2005 MRAP was one of a dozen USMC Urgent Universal Need Statement (UUNS) awaiting DWG review or require solution resolution. The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle UUNS requested an MRAP vehicle capability to increase survivability and mobility of Marines operating in a hazardous fire area against known threats. EFDC was developing a course of action for development of a future vehicle that provides the requested capability.

The Marine Corps had quickly recognized the successful track record of mine protected vehicles in conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere and became interested in incorporating them into the fleet. Marines started reaping the benefits of the mine protected vehicles in Fall 2004 after procuring around 27 Force Protection Cougars. The Marine Corps acquired the Hardened Engineer Vehicle (HEV) variant. Combat engineers and explosive ordinance disposal personnel lacked the adequate organic battlefield transportation capability and protection to conduct independent missions. EOD and engineers will be able to maneuver with speed, mobility and survivability equal with the ground maneuver forces within the Marine Air Ground Task Force. When receiving calls from convoys that came upon land mines or IEDs, they could send an EOD team out in a Cougar. Even if the mine hit the Cougar, its passengers would stand a far better chance of survival due to the v-shaped hull design and other special features incorporated in the vehicle.

By contrast the Buffalo MRAP, in use since 2003 was originally intended to be fielded only to engineer units, with the Army planning to stand up three Route Clearance Companies per year starting in FY07, for a total of 12 companies. This vehicle, was subsequently classified as relevant to the MRAP's Category III, not initially specified in the January 2007 contracts.

The official establishment of the Joint Service MRAP program was in November 2006. The Marine Corps Systems Command issued a request for industry bids in November 2006 for 4,060 vehicles, 2,500 for the Army, 538 for the Navy and 1,022 for the Marine Corps.

The official establishment of the Joint Service MRAP program was in November 2006. The Marine Corps Systems Command issued a request for industry bids in November 2006 for 4,060 vehicles, 2,500 for the Army, 538 for the Navy and 1,022 for the Marine Corps. Ever since the military began using MRAPs in Iraq, the requirement has grown, as commanders realize how much better they are at protecting their personnel. In May 2006 the requirement was only 185. By July 2006, it had risen to 1,185. By November 2006, it had risen to 4,060. By February 2007, after the supplemental request was submitted, it rose to 6,738. One month later, the requirement went up again to the current level of 7,774. Every one in the military agreed on that number. The Marines needed 3,700 of them. The Army needed 2,500, the Air Force needed 697, the Navy needs 544, and the Special Operations Command needs 333. The cost of 7,774 MRAPs is $8.4 billion.

On 27 January 2007 the Navy awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Under the contract the Government could order up to 4,100 MRAP vehicles composed of 1,500 Category I and 2,600 Category II. Each awardee would receive an initial delivery order for two test vehicles per Category to include associated vehicle support. The total value of the initial delivery orders for 36 test vehicles was $34,574,582. The Government could place additional delivery orders for production vehicles. Vehicles procured under these contracts would be deployed to and supported in Iraq and Afghanistan. Initial test vehicles would be delivered no later than 60 days after contract award. Logistics support would continue up to two years after fielding for test and any production vehicles.

Work was to be performed respectively in York, Pennsylvania, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, North Charleston, South Carolina, York, Pennsylvania, Ladson, South Carolina, Sealy, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana, New Haven, Michigan, and Westpoint, Mississippi. Work was expected to be completed January 2008 (2012 with options). Contract funds would not expire at the end of the fiscal year. These contracts were awarded based on full and open competition from solicitation M67854-07-R-5000. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia was the contracting activity. (Contract Numbers: BAE Systems- M67854-07-D-5025; Oshkosh Truck Corporation- M67854-07-D-5026; Protected Vehicles, Inc.- M67854-07-D-5027; General Dynamics Land Systems- M67854-07-D-5028; Force Protection Industries- M67854-07-D-5031; Armor Holdings- M67854-07-D-5030; Textron Marine & Land- M67854-07-D-5033; General Purpose Vehicles LLC- M67854-07-D-5029; International Military and Government LLC- M67854-07-D-5032).

Marine Corps leadership decided in February 2007 to replace all uparmored HMMWVs in Iraq with MRAPs, whereas Army leadership would continue to rely on its uparmored HMMWVs. In March 2007, the MRAP requirement for all services reportedly grew by 15% as the Navy, Air Force, and the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) added requirements for MRAPs that stood at 7,774 DoD-wide as of March 26, 2007. In May 2007, reportedly because of the requests from Army commanders in Iraq, Army leadership began considering the possibility of replacing all uparmored HMMWVs in Iraq with MRAPs, thereby increasing the Army's total requirement to approximately 17,700 MRAP vehicles. The President's FY07 supplemental request asked for $1.83 billion for MRAP vehicles. The Senate committee acknowledged the need for these vehicles and included $2.5 billion in the supplemental bill.

In addition, on 28 March 2007, Senator Biden (for himself, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Durbin, and Mr. Pryor) offered an amendment, which passed the Senate 98 to 0 on 29 March 2007, which provided an additional $1.5 billion in funding for the MRAP vehicles. He proposed forward-funding money from next year's 2008 budget into the 2007 supplemental. The administration's FY08 plan was to spend $2.3 billion in 2007 and $6.1 billion in 2008 (these were outlays, not appropriations). The amendment moved up $1.5 billion into the supplemental from the 2008 budget. DoD would still spend $8.4 billion, but spending it faster would make a major difference. The effect would be to add an additional 2,500 MRAP vehicles into the field faster. Biden said that his ammendment would mean 2,500 vehicles get to the field 6 months sooner than under the initial plan. The total MRAP funding in the Senate version of the supplemental was almost $4 billion. Under this plan it was expected that by 1 October 2007, instead of having only 2,000 MRAPs, the US would have 4,500 in the field. Similarly, by 1 January 2008, instead of 3,500 MRAPs, there would be 6,000 in the field. By February 2008, it was planned that the US would fulfill the entire requirement, instead of waiting until July 2008 as originally projected.

The Conference Report on HR 1591, US Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, And Iraq Accountability Act, 2007 (House of Representatives - April 24, 2007), noted that "The amended supplemental budget request includes $1,832,300,000 for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs ) Vehicles. ... Recognizing the survivability enhancements brought to our warfighters by MRAPs, Congress previously appropriated $592,000,000 for MRAPs in fiscal year 2007. Since IEDs continue to be the biggest threat to our troops in theater, the conferees believe it is imperative that these critical force protection items be provided to the warfighter as quickly as possible. Therefore, based on the most current information provided by the military services, the conferees provide $1,200,000,000 above the request for a total of $3,032,300,000 for MRAPs in the conference agreement. Further, the conferees designate MRAPs as a congressional interest item."

By early 2007 contractors had been producing about 45 of these vehicles a month. Only 2 US steel mills were qualified to produce special armored steel for the Defense Department at that point. Both had been acquired by foreign companies since the beginning of 2006. Oregon Steel was owned by Evraz Group SA of Russia. The International Steel Group was acquired by the Dutch conglomerate Arcelor Mittal.

The Defense Department has requested that the armor steel made by both firms be categorized with what is called a "DX" rating for the MRAP program. DX stands for the highest national urgency. Under the 1950 Defense Production Act, any item with a DX rating recieves top priority and must be furnished to the US Government in advance of any other customers. Several other items that were critical to the MRAP vehicles, ballistic glass, transmissions, and Mack Truck chasses, were also supposed to receive the DX rating.

As of May 2007 estimates valued the total military MRAP procurement at more than $8 billion and in excess of 7,700 units. US Central Command indicated it might need as many as 17,700 vehicles, enough to ensure that every soldier who leaves a base in Iraq would be riding in one. Nine companies had been selected to build test vehicles, and the Marine had planned to choose multiple winners from the various vehicles submitted. The Army would like one primary design.

On 17 May 2007 it was reported that the Army had asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to approve spending almost $20 billion for new armored vehicles. This move came a week after Gates called deploying the vehicles the military's top hardware priority. According to a memo dated 15 May 2007 and obtained by USA Today, acting Army Secretary Pete Geren asked Gates for as many as 17,770 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs).

On 28 June 2007, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) reportedly endorsed a requirement to replace every HMMWV in theater with an MRAP, potentially pushing the MRAP requirement to more than 23,000 vehicles. The JROC capped overall MRAP procurement at 15,374 vehicles in September 2007, but suggested that these numbers could change, based on the assessment of commanders. By June 2007 Acting Army Secretary Pete Geren had asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates for as many as 17,770 MRAPs, at a cost of $20 billion. The vehicles would be shipped to Iraq after production by July 2009.

On 31 July 2007, the US Marine Corps issued a request for proposal for the MRAP II Enhanced Vehicle Competition. The MRAP II was intended to better address the threat of Explosively-Formed Penetrators (EFPs), a type of stand-off improvised explosive device that employs a shaped charge against the sides of vehicles. Realizing a need to equip MRAP vehicles already in service with some similar level of protection, the MRAP Expedient Armor Program was initiated. This program looked for an applique armor kit that could be retrofitted to existing MRAP types.

The total requirement as of 10 August 2007 stood at 7,774 MRAPs in total, including Category III vehicles. At the time the procurement had amounted to a total of 6,415 MRAPs in all categories.

MRAPs Ordered Against 7,774 Vehicle Requirement
Company Category I Category II Category III Total
Force Protection Industries, Inc 1257 648 58 1963
General Dynamics Land Systems 610 10 0 620
International Military and Government LLC 1955 16 0 1971
Armor Holdings, Inc 1154 16 0 1170
BAE Systems 201 330 0 531
Oshkosh Truck Corporation 100 0 0 100
Protected Vehicles, Inc 60 0 0 60
Total by type 5377 1020 58 6415

On 30 November 2007, the Marines reduced its MRAP requirement from 3,700 to approximately 2,300 vehicles. The Marines cited 6 factors in its decision including a reduction in the IED threat in the preceeding 6 months, issues of mobility, a viable shift in the movement of greater amounts of supplies via airlift, and fewer MRAP losses than initially predicted. Mobility issues surrouned the realities that the relatively heavy MRAP was said to be unable to operate or pursue the enemy off-road, in confined areas, or across most bridges. According to reports, DoD's MRAP Acquisition Executive, John Young, stated that in certain terrain types, MRAPs were not proving to be as effective and some units wanted to keep their uparmored HMMWVs in lieu of MRAPs because of their superior speed and mobility. Service chiefs have also continued to express their concerns that MRAPs are too large and too heavy for expeditionary operations and can not be deployed by helicopter or by amphibious ships.

The reduction in the USMC requirement was in contrast to the US Army which increased its requirement in September 2007 from 10,000 to 11,953 vehicles. The USAF also reduced their MRAP numbers from 697 to 558 vehicles, while numbers for the US Navy (554) and USSOCOM (333) remained unchanged.

On 18 December 2007, DoD reported that it had awarded four manufacturers a contract just under $2.66 billion for an additional 3,126 MRAPs to be delivered by the end of July 2008. This award, combined with previous contract awards, totaled 11,941 MRAPs out of the existing 15,374 requirement. The 18 December 2007 contracts were to Stewart and Stevenson Tactical Vehicle, BAE Land Systems and Armaments, Force Protection Industries, Inc, and International Military and Government LLC. Stewart and Stevenson Tactical Vehicle (Sealy, Texas), was a Division of Armor Holdings that had recently been acquired by BAE Land Systems, and was awarded a contract to produce 668 Category II MRAPs. BAE Land Systems and Armaments (Santa Clara, California) was awarded a contract for 600 additional Category II MRAPs, bringing its total to more than 1,730 vehicles. Force Protection Industries, Inc. (Ladson, South Carolina), was awarded a contract for 178 Category I and 180 Category II MRAPS. International Military and Government LLC (Warrenville, Illinois) received the largest single deliver order for 1,5000 Category I MRAPs.

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