Amazing MRAP Survival Photos


Ive caught a lot of flak for my lack of enthusiasm with the MRAP vehicle. Some readers have maligned my intent, experience, reporting and general understanding of the issue without considering my argument carefully and reading closely to what I say.

I recognize that my stance on the MRAP debate is controversial and contrarian, but I see that as part of my job as DefenseTech editor to seed the conversation.

One thing I have never argued is the protective capability of the MRAP. Its construction and design run circles around the Humvee if protecting the pax and crew is your sole priority. Its an amazing vehicle that can really take a pounding.

DefenseTech ran across these pictures that attest to the MRAPs survivability.mrap-thumb.jpg
As you can see, the entire Marine convoy is comprised of MRAPs, and the Cougar which was hit by the IED gets truly banged up. But no one inside was killed and everyone escaped with only minor injuries. (Check out the engine blown 100 yards away)…

I dont necessarily agree with the idea that all Humvees in Iraq should be replaced with MRAPs. But seeing these photos has me almost convinced.


  • ohwilleke

    As I understand your argument against the MRAP, the concern you have raised is basically that these purchases will discourage the Army from buying something better later on.
    If I have that right, then this picture is indeed a perfect deal maker. The MRAP is broken, so it will still need to be replaced, but the troops are protected.
    For my druthers, I think putting soldiers are risk so that we can make better procurement decisions in the future is a pretty dodgy argument, but in any event, if the Iraq War continues on the way it has so far for too many more years, it may be a false dilemma, as there may not be many MRAPs left when the dust settles.

  • Jeff

    It seems to me like modern warfare will be more and more urband missions that the MRAP would be beter suited for than the HUMVEE. The Humvee would be great in a wide open conflict like the Easter European Theater in WWII but in modern combat it seems that the USA has no, or at least very few, conventional enemies left. With urban warfare being the standard of these new guerilla forces it only makes sense to arm up for this style of war. More MRAPs.

  • The Hooded Swan

    Jeff is on to you Christian. Your problem isn’t really with the MRAP. This is about predicting the future. Whether it will be fire & maneuver between large formations out in the open or counter-insurgencies in urban areas.
    My guess? The services will eventually spend as much time preparing to fight inside urban areas as they do outside of them. Watch for the use of the term “rural warfare”.

  • Sapper

    The problem with this vehicle is that as nice as it is for protection it is very difficult to recover if it breaks down. I have had the bad experience time and time again in Afghanistan where I was broke down and waiting for a recovery asset to be deployed to recover me and then finding out that since there is nothing in the army system to recover the vehicle we were going to have to spend additional time exposed waiting for a wheeled crane and a truck with a lowbed to come and recover us. This problem needs to be addresed before production continues.

    • howie

      They just came out with a recovery mrap which is also made by force protection. You guys didnt have the assets to recover an mrap??? I’m motor T in the marine corps, did two tours in afghanistan, and we had no problem recovering it. Difficult at times in certain situations but we got the job done with out 36 team. Rah!

  • Sapper 1

    The problem with this vehicle is that as nice as it is for protection it is very difficult to recover if it breaks down. I have had the bad experience time and time again in Afghanistan where I was broke down and waiting for a recovery asset to be deployed to recover me and then finding out that since there is nothing in the army system to recover the vehicle we were going to have to spend additional time exposed waiting for a wheeled crane and a truck with a lowbed to come and recover us. This problem needs to be addresed before production continues.

  • CS

    The MRAP’s sheer size and mass would limit the number of roads it can drive on, reduce its capability for evasive manuevers and also reduce its offroad capability. In some ways, this may make it less able to avoid IEDs than Humvees. On the other hand, if it is hit by an IED it offers vastly better protection for the crew than any Humvee. So overall, replacing all Humvees with MRAPs will hugely reduce the number of US casualties and will be an essential step if the occupation is to be continued.

    • howie

      Negative. I’m guessing that you have never served any time in the military and or never driven an mrap. Well I have over 1000 miles over some of the toughest, most dangerous terrain in afghanistan over 2 combat tours and this is the best vehicle for the job. When your talking our current conflict in afghanistan, not only does the mrap handle a blast better, but it also goes where the humvee cannot go. You couldn’t have been any further off the map then you were with that statment

  • Brian H

    A smashed vehicle and safe passengers is the same principle as having crumple zones on cars; it’s all about who or what absorbs the energy. Deflecting is good, but what gets through should be absorbed by metal.
    It just occurs to me that the same principle that is built into some road dividers could be used: water-filled compartments that pop a cork and blast a jet of water straight up on impact. Can absorb a huge amount of compression energy safely.

  • txzen

    the rg31 doesn’t look as big as a hummer but the cougar and buffalo are huge compared

  • doesnt matter

    how about lets not post things the enemy can use against us!

  • 22lr

    IF we were serius about protecting the soldiers inside, and nothing else we would be riding around in M1 tanks. Polititions need to get there noses out of teh militarys bussiness so that the commanders can decide (with no pressure) the best way to go.
    Same goes for the M-4, and Humvee. How can the commanders even make a desision when they get stuff shoved up their noses. Polititions will make us lose every war we fight, if we let them. I would love to see a general tell them to shut the heck up and listen to what i need for my troops, and for them to git that stuff to the general.
    Wishful thinking I know, but its ok to dream.

  • Rich

    personally, humvees capabilities have been pushed to there max and beyond. Unarmoured humvees are great for missions that require armour out the wazoo. I have seen a leve 3 armormed humvee. at 25mph it would roll over in a turn. WAY WAY TO HEAVY. That is whats killing more of our troops then anything else. Traffic accidents etc, not bullets or bombs.

  • rich

    do you think the govt, is going to just throw away all those humvee’s? of course not, its public knowledge that they are prototyping new uses for the humvee, 2 manned armored assault vehicles, I would describe it as an apache on wheels. and others that Im not at liberty to discuss.

  • JKA

    Replace all the Humvees in Iraq? Not necessarily. But what are the missions?
    What are the requirements of the missions?
    How many Humvees are sufficient for lightly-armoured missions?
    How many MRAPs are required for highly-armoured missions?
    And for heaven’s sake get the politicians out of the decision process. Ask the generals and majors what they need and get it too them.
    (PS. what happened to the Strykers? Dead end?)

  • 3536 wrecker operator

    I was tasked to figure out a way to recover the MRAP vehicle. The army used their wrecker and i used my faithful MK36 wrecker. The army seemed to be having problems attaching its tow assebly from its multi use adaptor (MUA)and was not able to lift tow but was able to flat to the MRAP vehicle.
    Since my tow assembly adapters and suspension are alot diffrent i was able to lower my suspension and my MUA on wrecker and aline the my MUA to the MRAPS tow eyes.
    I devoloped a way to attach the chains to the MUA so that it does not damage the front bumper.
    I am the first Marine to devolop a safe lift tow method that will hopefully be used in IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN.
    So to those that say it can be towed, Marines improvise and over come and thats what just what i did.

  • Brian

    I would like for this person to contact me if all possible to see what he thinks as being the first to lift tow this vehilce?? If you can please post this and if you have any information about this please e-mail me at the above e-mail so i can talk to you. Been out here twice and have done it my own way and recovied all mission type thrown at me.
    Posted by: 3536 wrecker operator at November 7, 2007 01:56 AM
    SSgt Brian Newsom
    Wrecker Section SNCOIC
    Al Asad Iraq



  • david

    As a goverment contractor woking for and around the MRAPs you have a great truck .there are more ppl making the trucks the FPI anf the BAE system trucks are will built , there are FRAG kit 6 being made now to add more armor to them which will help. alot better than to old hummer that has been used , it is getting too heavy with the AOA on the 1151

  • danner123

    my name is steven danner i work for bae land systems i was one of the first mechanics to work on mrap.unfortunatley we dont build them no more i am now a bradley fighting vehichle mechanic but i do miss the mrap very much but am glad to see it is doing what it was designed to

  • Dave

    i love the MRAP, oh yea you guys heard about the new light assault vehilce

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    Three years ago, after friends introduced, I played the Rappelz game. At that time, I dazed and confused, I like to go my own way, I have a lot of rappelz rupees, but I became the most evil villains in the game. Until I encountered her, I found the meaning of survival.

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  • M.Burhanuddin

    Weird!!, We Muslim going to war our intention are to death (syahid) but you all going to war to keep you safe and go back to your family

    • alf

      Not so Weird, You wanna die and we wanna get you there. Makes sense to me

  • tygrman

    i dont think that the humvee will be completely replaced in the foreseeable future. dont get me wrong i LOVE the MRAP but there are certain things that the humvee can only do

    • howie

      no there isnt your a jackass

  • mike z

    ok, enough editorializing – so where are the pic’s????

  • Tom Smalls

    My own reservations center on the fact that I don’t recall seeing any info regarding the top armoring of the MRAP family. Given the urban warfare mission requirements of the MRAP family, they need to be RPG proof and even .51 cal proof to fully suit urban warfare requirements. If such info is available, I would love to be refered to it. Thanks.

  • felner

    for the most part they arent even sending humvees past the wire. MRAPs are the new ride for marines these days as a driver my opinion is that they handle way better offroad than a humvee as well as stronger and more protective. the humvee handles great until you throw the uparmor on them then the suspension is damn near bottomed out. then if you take it in some rough areas shit starts breaking.they just arent meant for that much of a combat load.