Army testing MRAP prototypes

Sept. 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM
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WARREN, Mich., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Prototype U.S. MRAP vehicles equipped with the first fully integrated suite of radios, satellite and other networking systems are ready for testing.

The U.S. Army, which designed and developed the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles, said five prototypes were shipped from its Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Michigan to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., for safety release testing.

"In order to quickly get these capabilities to the field, we incorporated lessons learned from the NIEs (Army's Network Integration Evaluations) that allowed us to streamline engineering, prototyping and production build designs near simultaneously," said Paul Wilson, director of Synchronized Fielding, System of Systems Integration.

"A more traditional approach doesn't follow this sort of process since they do not have the advantage of the processor data from the Agile Process but the total Army team effort between research and development centers, production facilities and the program managers will allow for us to meet new equipment training schedules with multiple vehicle deliveries to 10th Mountain Division starting in October."

The networked suite is called Capability Set 13, which includes radios, satellite systems, software applications, smartphone-like devices and other network components. The system allows integrated connectivity from the static tactical operations center to the commander on-the-move to the dismounted soldier.

The Army said the five "super configuration" MRAP configurations prototyped at TARDEC include MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle Soldier Network Extension), M-ATV Point of Presence, M-ATV Vehicular Wireless Package, M-ATV-Lite and MRAP MaxxPro Dash.

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