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Navy upgrading Marines' MRAPS

April 2, 2013 at 2:29 PM
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PANAMA CITY, Fla., April 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy reports that Buffalo Mine Resistant Ambush Protection vehicles operated by the Marine Corps are being upgraded with a rear-door assist device.

The rear door of the armored vehicle weighs 500 pounds and is opened manually. It was designed for flat ground, which makes opening it difficult on uneven terrain or in a rollover situation.

The new rear door system, developed by engineers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center using commercial off-the shelf hardware, is electric. It is self-powered and can be activated from two locations within the vehicle and from a switch outside the vehicle.

"If all else fails, we have a manual way to crank out the pump's hydraulic cylinder," said Buffalo Systems Deputy Project Engineer Steven (Tate) Carow. "A Marine can pull out a handle, which fits into a slot in the integrated hydraulic cylinder and he or she can then simply use this to jack the door open."

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