Pentagon passes vehicle goal in Iraq

Dec. 20, 2007 at 11:07 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Department said it expected to exceed its goal of delivering 1,500 heavily armored vehicles to Iraq as soon as Thursday.

The announcement came as the department said it has agreed to buy another 3,126 of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles for $2.66 billion by July 31, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said in a news release.

The latest MRAP contract, announced Wednesday, will bring the number of the heavily armored V-hulled vehicles under contract to 11,900.

"Our objective is to build at least 15,374," Morrell said. "These armored trucks ... have been the military's top acquisition priority for months now.

As of Monday, 1,300 MRAPs were in the field, Morrell said.

"They have proven to be true lifesavers for our war-fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.

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