July 20 (UPI) -- Oshkosh Defense has received a $13.9 million contract with the U.S. Army for support services for the M-ATV family of vehicles.
Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. The contract is expected to conclude by July 2021.
The M-ATV -- which stands for mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicle -- series of vehicles is designed to replace the ubiquitous M1114 HMMWVs, or Humvees, the Army has used for decades. The M-ATV is supposed to provide the same improved armor protection present in previous designed vehicles, commonly known as MRAPs, while offering improved mobility.
The vulnerability of HMMWVs to improvised explosive devices led to the design and production of a wide variety of MRAPs, but many of them are too prone to becoming stuck in rough terrain because of their heavy weight.
Lighter models that use improved armor and V-shape hulls to resist explosions are currently replacing earlier models. Oshkosh is also producing the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle as part of the line, which is expected to be the standard light vehicle for much of the US.. military.
MRAPs are heavily armored troop-carrying vehicles that can mount heavy weapons like machine guns and anti-tank missiles. They were developed specifically to offer more protection from explosives and rocket-propelled grenades.