Armored ambulances will protect wounded in Afghanistan
One of the biggest threats for military troops in Afghanistan is IEDs and other improvised explosives. Many of the military vehicles in use in Afghanistan today are of the lightly armored sort that can’t withstand fire from weapons or IEDs leaving soldiers inside exposed and vulnerable to enemy fire.
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A company called Oshkosh Defense has been granted a contract from the US military that is worth $255 million. The contract is for the company to develop a version of its M-ATV vehicle that will act as an IED and bullet resistant ambulance to evacuate wounded soldiers from the battlefield. The M-ATV ambulance looks like a cross between the current Humvee all terrain vehicle the military uses and an armored car.
The M-ATV ambulances will be the first of their kind and were requested in a joint urgent operational needs statement from the US military in Afghanistan. At the same time the contract was awarded for the M-ATV ambulances, Oshkosh was last granted a separate $28 million contract to produce 46 M-ATV vehicles that are specifically for the US Special Operations Command.
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Oshkosh is also wrapping up the last of the deliveries of the original 8,108 M-ATVs that the Pentagon ordered. The Pentagon can buy up to 10,000 of the M-ATV vehicles. The completion date for the order of M-ATV ambulances is projected to be May 31, 2012.