14 Apr 10. The Aston Martin DB S used to be nicknamed ‘The Sports Lorry,’ having seen and driven in the new Oshkosh MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), one could easily name it the ‘Armoured Sports Truck.’ American truck manufacturers by the very nature of the size of their country, the length of Highways and the weight of loads hauled, have a reputation for building big, powerful trucks with the ability to haul big loads over long distances. Adding the ability to do this exercise over rough and arduous terrain, Oshkosh has developed the reputation for building big, solid, reliable military trucks, capable of traversing every terrain known to man and now with the addition of armoured protection for the driver and crew. Indeed the U.S. Marine Corps amongst many military customers has built its fleet around the Oshkosh brand. The recent win of the FMTV bid against BAE Systems, the incumbent, and Navistar underlined the strength of the brand and its reliability.
When you combine the reliability of a proven MTVR truck drive train, with proven TAK-4 suspension (with minor adjustments to achieve weight savings) a CAT C-7 diesel engine and a Plasan armoured hull, with a lighter overall GVW, you have a beast. Originally one of five candidates down selected for the M-ATV program, the Oshkosh M-ATV was chosen on 30 June 2009 to be the sole winner of the contest. Oshkosh Corporation received an initial order for 2,244 vehicles in a contract worth US$1.06bn.
The M-ATV utilizes the MTVR chassis and TAK-4 suspension with the Plasan designed armored hull similar to what was developed for the Northrop Grumman/Oshkosh JLTV. The V-shaped Plasan armored hull offers protection for the occupants from IED attacks while the centrally inflated run-flat tires allow the M-ATV to travel at least 30 miles at 30 mph even if two tires lose pressure.
The vehicle can also take a 7.62 mm round to its engine oil/coolant/hydraulic system and continue to drive for at least one kilometer. The TAK-4 suspension is coil sprung and fully independent, and offers 16 inches of independent wheel travel. The M-ATV’s roof mounted turret is capable of mounting weapons such as a M240 machine gun, a Mk 19 grenade launcher or, a BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missile launcher. The roof weapons can be operated either from the turret or remotely inside the cabin. The M-ATV also features modern vehicle safety systems such as Traction control and anti-lock brakes in addition to modern creature comforts such as an HVAC system and power outlets for charging personal portable electronic devices. Strength comes from the Caterpillar C-7 diesel engine, which creates 370 hp.
According to the United States Marine Corps program officer for MRAP, Brigadier General Michael Brogan, the Oshkosh M-ATV was chosen because it had the best survivability and Oshkosh had the best technical and manufacturing capabilities of all the competitors. The Oshkosh bid was also the second cheapest. The first vehicles arrived in Afghanistan in October 2009 and more than 2,000 have been delivered through mid-April 2010.
Additional contracts have increased M-ATVs orders to 8,079 as of February 2010. Oshkosh ramped up to produce 1,000 M-ATVs a month and is still exceeding delivery requirements.
Oshkosh Defense displayed two new tactical wheeled vehicles at AUSA Winter at Fort Lauderdale this year. Two new variants of the M-ATV family made their debut at the event, as did – for the first time in the Oshkosh booth – an Oshkosh truck from the U.S. Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV).
“This AUSA event was a great opportunity for Oshkosh Defense to demonstrate our support for the U.S. Army and showcase our newest offerings to military personnel across all ranks,” said Andy Hove, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Defense. “The face-to-face conversations which took place at this show allowed us to gather important feedback and information, which we use to continua