BAE Completes Production of MRAP Vehicles
(NSI News Source Info) ARLINGTON, Va. - November 22, 2008: BAE Systems has completed production of more than 5,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles under existing contracts with the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. Ceremonies to commemorate this milestone were held this week at BAE Systems MRAP-related sites in Charlotte, Michigan and Sealy, Texas.
MRAP – the Caiman
The events celebrate the completion of a 22-month production run for two BAE Systems variants of the MRAP – the Caiman and the RG33; the U.S. Government has purchased 2,868, and 2,182 of those vehicles, respectively. The final Caiman rolled off the assembly line this week, and the RG33L was delivered to the government on Wednesday. Additional RG33 and Caiman variants will be delivered to the government in coming months.
“The BAE Systems' Team has excelled in its support of our Armed Services in its time of urgent need. Caiman has been On Time-On Target,” said Chris Chambers, Vice President, Medium/Heavy Vehicles at BAE Systems. “By any measure Caiman is a success: contract award to production deliveries in 43 days; an unmatched, exemplary delivery to contract and a vehicle protection and reliability record that has enabled our troops to complete their vital mission.” “The RG33 represents an unprecedented story of success that reflects industries unsurpassed rapid response to the Department of Defense’s immediate requirement to defeat an ever evolving threat,” said Matt Riddle, Vice President, Wheeled Combat Vehicles at BAE Systems. “From design to fielding in less than six months, the RG33 has proven itself worthy in combat and has well earned the respect and accolades of its U.S. military crewmen.”
The Caiman and RG33 were developed in 2006 to provide U.S. warfighters in Iraq a vehicle that would protect them against rocket-propelled grenades, roadside bombs and explosively formed projectiles. Prototypes of both vehicles were delivered in January 2007; the first production contracts were awarded to the RG33 in February 2007 and to the Caiman in July 2007.
The Caiman, RG33 and other MRAP models have since replaced many of the unarmored or lightly armored vehicles used for combat-related missions in Iraq.
As a member of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), the Caiman shares many features and components, vastly reducing current and future logistic and training loads and allowing sharing of technology advancements such as stability control, on/off-board power or diagnostic/prognostic systems. Additionally, it offers an adaptable, applique-based protective system allowing rapid future transformation to match changing threats or removal to vastly reduce the vehicle weight and a high volume under armor with leading payload capacity.
The Caiman continues to achieve a sustained operational readiness rate average of 95 percent and has been utilized throughout the spectrum of operations. Manufacturing of the Caiman is coordinated between six of BAE Systems’ facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio; Louisville, Kentucky; Phoenix, Arizona; Monroe, North Carolina; Sealy, Texas; and Orangeburg, South Carolina. RG33:
The RG33 sets the standard for mine-protected vehicles in the 20 to 40-ton weight class, providing superior performance through enhanced survivability, advanced mobility, mission flexibility, rapid availability and vehicle commonality. It features a state-of-the art v-shaped hull that provides superior blast protection against symmetrical, asymmetrical and unconventional explosive hazards.
With its large modular interior, high-mobility chassis and extensive equipment options, the RG33 is an integrated, proven, survivable, blast-protected vehicle. The versatility of the RG33 is represented in the many variants of the vehicle – 4x4 and 6x6 configurations, an armed utility variant, a variant designed for Special Operations Command, an ambulatory variant and a command and control variant.