Friday, September 14, 2007

MRAP Insanity

Wonder how much an MRAP costs?

Production contracts for the roughly 12-ton "Category I" vehicles (pictured) average around $400,000 per truck. The bigger Cat IIs cost around $600,000 to build -- and the ginormous, 25-ton Cat III Buffaloes are more than $800,000 apiece. But the production contracts don't include all the parts and support and the cost of rushing a truck to Iraq or Afghanistan aboard a chartered Antonov airlifter. Those expenses add around $200,000 to each truck. Toss in various R&D costs and the average price of an average MRAP approaches seven figures. That's a million clams for what Marine General Mike Brogan, MRAP manager, said are "basically just trucks."

But don't worry, it gets great gas mileage ...

Oh, wait, it doesn't.


Unknown said...

And how much does the million dollar "truck" save? Well let's see...up to 10 trained combat troops per vehicle. Let's be conservative and call it 7.

Recruitment and Training per individual $XX,XXX times 7.

Replacing the individuals per IED encounter from a stateside location $X,XXX times 7.

Paying either $400,000 death benefit (if KIA) or $XXX,XXX in medical expenses (if WIA) times 7

Wow, looks like the military has finlay figured it out that it's much less expensive to protect the troops up front.

Thank God there are people who are not nearly as short-sighted as you who are making decisions for our brave men and women.

Jb said...

Slow down, dude.

If you look at the other MRAP-related posts on this site you might pick up on a generally favorable attitude on the MRAP and their rather exorbitant price-tag (try here , here, and here, for example).

But, let's face it: the MRAP is expensive. There's no moral valuation behind that statement, just an economic one.

And nor does there have to be any malice behind my crack about the MRAP gas mileage. Why, you may ask? Because every combat vehicle gets shitty gas mileage.

I'm glad its expensive. Folks make some of them right here in Oshkosh, so a little chunk of that appropriations cash is coming back to my back yard.

The MRAP saga interests me for other reasons too. To date it appears to be the most effective defense against what has become the the signature innovation of this war, namely the IED. For that alone it deserves a great deal of praise. It's also interesting from an engineering perspective ...

So before you look at an entire two whole (admittedly glib) sentences and pronounce me "short-sighted," kick off your shoes and look around a bit ... you might be pleasantly surprised.