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Ridgback being tested ahead of deployment

LONDON, March 17 (UPI) -- The British Ministry of Defense said a new, more mobile mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle is undergoing an evaluation ahead of deployment to Afghanistan.

The British army announced it has received several of the new Ridgback 4X4 MRAP vehicles for testing and evaluation. The Ridgback is a smaller version of the widely deployed British Mastiff armored fighting vehicle used in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defense reported.

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Officials said the Ridgback is designed to be lighter and more maneuverable to better handle the rugged and mountainous terrain in Afghanistan while still maintaining a high level of protection for troops against roadside bombs and other explosive threats.

"We had infantry support us throughout the whole design and development process," Jason Purveur, Ridgback project manager, said in a statement.

"All of the attributes that they think they will need in theater we try and accommodate within the build of the program. My hope is that they get exactly what they want."

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