Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said the Defense Department expected defense contractors to produce 3,900 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, or MRAP, vehicles this year. But only 1,500 would make it to the war zone in 2006 -- down from the Pentagon's previous shipment target of 2,500 to 3,000.
"If we could get 1,500 to theater by the end of this year, that would be a positive development," Morrell said.
The new goal of 1,500 was first reported by Stars & Stripes, the newspaper for troops overseas that is partially funded by the Defense Department.
The MRAP vehicle is one of the Pentagon's top acquisition priorities and the Defense Department's aim has been to buy as many as can be produced. It follows years of criticism directed at the Pentagon for not providing adequate armor to troops.
The MRAPs' V-shaped hull is designed to protect occupants from roadside bombs, which have killed many U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Morrell said it takes about 50 days to equip and ship a finished MRAP into the war zone. That includes 15 days for equipping and 35 for transport by ship.
Morrell said he did not know which units in Iraq would be affected by the production shortfall this year.
MRAP contractors include: Navistar International Corp.'s International Military and Government LLC; Force Protection Inc., which is partnered with General Dynamics Corp.'s Land Systems business arm; a General Dynamics Canadian unit; BAE Systems Plc; Oshkosh Truck Corp..
Last Mod: 22 Ağustos 2007, 21:08