Armor: Mbombe Of The Desert


June 4, 2014: Jordan has ordered fifty South African Mbombe MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected). This is a 27 ton armored truck with a V shaped underbody that is very resistant to mines, roadside bombs and RPGs. The vehicle can carry 11 people or just a crew of two and over a ton of cargo. The 6x6 Mbombe is 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) high and is armed with a manned or remote controlled gun turret that can handle a heavy (12.7mm) machine-gun or autocannon up to 30mm.

 Most MRAPs on the market use design and construction techniques pioneered by South African firms that have, over the years, delivered thousands of landmine resistant vehicles to the South African armed forces and foreign customers. These were a great success in the 1980s. The South African technology was imported into the U.S. in 1998, and was used in the design of vehicles used by peacekeepers in the Balkans. Later even more such vehicles were bought for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Foreign firms have grabbed most of the MRAP export business, and pioneering South African manufacturers have to scramble for whatever they can get.

Basically, MRAPs are heavy trucks (12 tons or more) that are hardened to survive bombs and mines, and cost about five to ten times more than an armored hummer.




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