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Old 07-20-2008, 10:43 PM   #1

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Default Lots of MRAP issues in the Sandbox

Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles (MRAP) have been hailed as a great success in Iraq. And now, commanders in Afghanistan are requesting hundreds more of the armored trucks which greatly increased the chances of survival against roadside bombs. But a recent report from the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned cautions that the although MRAP is a life saver, it may introduce some new hazards of its own.

The report "indicates concerns about the bulky, top-heavy vehicle rolling over in combat zones," according to Army Times. "Of the 38 MRAP accidents between Nov. 7 and June 8, only four did not involve a roll-over. Many of the incidents ended with troops suffering injuries, and an April 23 roll-over led to the drowning death of two soldiers."

In a separate incident, three Green Berets drowned recently when their RG-31 MRAP rolled into a canal in Afghanistan. Which is a troubling omen, since the bulk of the MRAPs going to Afghanistan will be the RG-31 models.

The report suggests that conditions leading to the April 23 incident appear to be common. The weight of the MRAP, up to 30 tons depending on the model and equipment upgrades, prompted the road to collapse and the MRAP to roll over into a canal.

“Road shoulders in the Middle East do not meet U.S. standards and may collapse under the weight of the MRAP, especially when the road is above grade and can fall to lower ground (ditches and canals),” the report states. “Nearly 75 percent of all rollover crashes occur in rural areas.”

The report also mentions another less-obvious hazard. Most combat vehicles have a very low profile to minimize their silhouette, but the MRAP stands much taller to give greater stand-off from mines. The antenna can reach up to sixteen feet, which presents a possible electrocution danger when encountering the with low power lines in developing countries.

“There have been … instances of electric shock when the vehicle’s height causes them to be close enough to power lines to create an electric arc,” the report states.

Explosively-formed penetators (EFPs) or "superbombs" are a type of roadside bomb that fire a slug of metal at high velocity. A separate report by the Center indicates that when struck by and EFP, the safety glass in MRAPs can disintegrate into a potentially dangerous powder.

“Hazardous material such as this can cause adverse health effects including asthma, skin rashes, allergic reactions, allergic sensitization, cancer and other long-term diseases,” the report states. “Crew and recovery personnel involved in recent incidents have complained of respiratory (chest tightness/coughing) and eye irritation.”

This should not detract from the achievement of getting thousands of MRAPs into service in Iraq at a time when they were sorely needed. But it does show the problems that can arise from a rush program: better training can mitigate the rollover risk, and design enhancements can solve the problems with the antennae and safety glass.

Meanwhile, Marine Brig. Gen. James Kessler tells National Defense that the MRAP is becoming more vulnerable to attack. “They are finding ways to defeat it," he said.

The U.S. military is partly to blame for the enemy overcoming the MRAP because of its willingness to talk openly about new weapons systems, said Brig. Gen. Michael Brogan, commander of the Marine Corps Systems Command.

“If there’s anything that MRAP has taught us, it’s that we are absolutely horrible at operational security. We’re busy telling people in the media exactly what sort of weapon can defeat that new vehicle. They [the enemy] are incredibly savvy at using the media and using information technology,” Brogan said.

Blaming the media is nothing new, though insurgents may rely less on US-controlled press stories and more from reports back from their own channels on what works. Insurgents have proven highly adaptable (their IED have developed rapidly to keep pace with countermeasures), and the MRAP design will have to evolve to keep ahead of the threat.

“MRAP is not a panacea,” Mann noted. “We have to look into the future; MRAP is clearly the present today.”

MRAP Hazards: Drowning, Electrocution, Cancer | Danger Room from
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:17 PM   #2
Default Re: Lots of MRAP issues in the Sandbox

isnt the Nyala something different than the MRAP?

is the RG31 just a different form of that?

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Old 07-21-2008, 12:32 AM   #3

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Default Re: Lots of MRAP issues in the Sandbox

if im not mistaken the military has put many different MRAPs into service.

known in-game as BOOMSNAPP
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:41 AM   #4

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Default Re: Lots of MRAP issues in the Sandbox

Yeah, there are a bunch of MRAPs. The Nyala is a Class I while a Cougar is a Class II.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lots of MRAP issues in the Sandbox

good to see you keeping up to date on what you're making Clypp

Not so good to see soldiers drowning in them...

"Clear the battlefield and let me see, All the profit from our victory." - Greg Lake
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lots of MRAP issues in the Sandbox

Troubling news indeed.

Though its interesting that these problems only seem to have come to light now, as the South Africans were motoring about in the things in Angola and Namibia 20 years ago.

The key to modernising any weapon is covering them in glue and tossing them in a barrel of M1913 rails until they look "Modern" enough.

Many thanks to [R-DEV]Adriaan for the sig!
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:08 PM   #7
Default Re: Lots of MRAP issues in the Sandbox

thanks for the clarification.

you'd think the high class engineers would realize that these giant behemoths are going to be rolling around on roads not to the grade of Western paved roads, and might just end up being too heavy.

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Old 07-22-2008, 10:35 AM   #8
Default Re: Lots of MRAP issues in the Sandbox

The engineer's only cared that the amount of death's from rollovers < deaths from IED's. It's like the guys who putter around in them bitching about how hard they are to recover. yes its heavy as crap, but I'll take a few extra hours of sweating my nuts off to get a 88 out there and hooked them for having the ability to rofl at most IED's.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Lots of MRAP issues in the Sandbox

We have a "Cayman" class MRAP where we are, along with the Cougar, and another type I haven't seen yet on the FOB. The Cayman is a six wheeled giant, with little gusto, great AC, and it can seat up to 6-8 pax (not including drv/tc/gnr).
You are all correct, the military fielded them all very quick, with no decisive contractor for future versions to come. Everything that was said is true, although the military has made a valiant effort to secure Soldier safety, they will still need to revise these issues in future versions coming out, when the final contract has been awarded.

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issues, lots, mrap, sandbox
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