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Designed to cope with Afghan’s hostile terrain, the Oshkosh M-ATV is the MRAP-type vehicle that will survive in greater numbers in US armed forces service. ©Oshkosh

adds to two contracts placed in August and December 2014 for the respective modifications of 500 and 300 vehicles. The secondary aim of the upgrade contract is to standardise the M-ATV fleet, as over 5,600 are planned to remain in US Army service. The remaining vehicles, mostly Dash models and a minority of ambulances will also remain in service. Turning to the Europeans, their need for mine and roadside bomb protection has mostly been filled with fighting vehicles. Most of the newly adopted vehicles of this kind – particularly the wheeled types – were designed from the outset to cope not only with that threat, but also to embed growth capabilities. On the infantry fighting vehicle front, 8x8s such as the Patria AMV/Rosomak, the Nexter VBCI, the KMW-Rheinmetall Boxer and the Iveco-Oto Melara Freccia – all first fielded in Afghanistan – proved sufficiently mobile and protected against explosive devices. French army reports mention at least two attacks against VBCIs (one of them was hit in the frontright area damaging the first and second axle wheels and tearing off the RPG-Net protection; the vehicle managed to reach the forward operating base, and although no details on how far that one was, the car was operational two hours later). No details on attacks against Boxers have been revealed, other than saying that crews survived the attacks. Turning to the Freccias and the Rosomaks, at least one of each had their frontal area damaged by a bomb, but with no consequences

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to their occupants. Standard mines had relatively predictable effects, quite unlike home-made devices. With these any vehicle is vulnerable, it is just a matter of explosive quantity, whether hidden under the road surface or camouflaged along the road (in a parked a vehicle for example). Increased protection is thus required, commanding upgrades even to recently developed vehicles. For example, France has already received a first batch of up-armoured VBCIs in 2015: these vehicles are in the VCI (Véhicule de Combat

Deployed by French Army engineers in Afghanistan, the Nexter Aravis has been the first European vehicle of its class to feature all-round Level 4 protection. © Nexter/Yves Debay EDR - September / October 2015

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EDR Magazine N°. 23 September / October 2015  

European Defence Review magazine issue #23

EDR Magazine N°. 23 September / October 2015  

European Defence Review magazine issue #23

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