Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps is upgrading the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle used by the Corps and the Air Force.
The modernization, which also involves refurbishment and up-armoring, is being conducted on the latest version of the MRAP in use by the two services and is being conducted at Production Plant Barstow, Marine Depot Maintenance Command, on the Yermo Annex of Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, Calif.
"Currently we're working on a split line between Air Force and Marine Corps M-ATVs at a rate of about 16 to 20 a month," said Kenny Phillips, production superintendent for the M-ATV line at the production plant.
"It takes us about three to four weeks for each vehicle and the total repair cycle time for all the vehicles is 120 days."
Phillips said the cost for modernizing and refurbishing each vehicle is $385,000. The cost of a new vehicle from Oshkosh would be about $400,000 to $1 million depending on the model.
According to Daniel Contreras, who is working on the project said the heavy metal armor upgrade involves the original armor plating covered by a much heavier and wider second layer of steel, which is then overlaid with dense foam.
The foam acts as a crumple zone and absorbs a lot of the impact of an explosion of a mine.