Oshkosh Defense has completed in-theatre installation of 3,500 underbody improvement kits (UIKs) onto the US Army's Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) vehicles in Afghanistan.
Working in collaboration with the MRAP Joint Program Office (JPO), the company completed the installation process in less than seven months to provide warfighters with new levels of protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) threats.
The MRAP JPO established 10 installation sites in Afghanistan for the programme, while Oshkosh designed the lean process flow and specified, procured, packaged and delivered the tooling required to support the installations.
Oshkosh Defense Joint and Marine Corps Programs vice president and general manager John Bryant said the company uses a modular approach to vehicle design, allowing the M-ATV and several other fielded platforms to accept a wide range of upgrades in-theatre as threats evolve.
Apart from increasing the vehicle's protection level beyond the initial requirements, the kits also help to keep soldiers safe on the battlefield without limiting mission-critical off-road mobility of the vehicle.
The kits, also known as C-Kit armour, are similar to the M-ATV's bolt-on armour and can be installed in-theatre without requiring welding or major fabrication process.
To date, more than 400 UIKs have been ordered by the Army for its Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) A4 fleet in Afghanistan.
Oshkosh has also delivered more than 500 new M-ATVs with factory-installed UIKs to the Army.
Oshkosh also manufactures UIKs for use on other trucks and is currently developing and testing UIK enhancements for a wide range of light, medium and heavy tactical wheeled vehicle platforms, including the US Army's Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV).
Based on the Oshkosh medium tactical vehicle replacement (MTVR) platform, the M-ATV is an armoured vehicle operated by the Army to deliver the survivability and off-road mobility required for harsh environments in Afghanistan.
Image: Underbody Improvement Kits equipped M-ATVs to safeguard US troops against IED attacks in Afghanistan. Photo: PEOSoldier.