By Keith Hayes, Marine Corps
The newest version of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle is currently being upgraded, refurbished and up-armored for both the Marine Corps and Air Force at Production Plant Barstow, Marine Depot Maintenance Command, on the Yermo Annex of Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California.
It has been described by artisans working on the project as “a beast,”
“a gnarly truck,” and “a Humvee on steroids.”
Kenny Phillips, a Barstow native, is the production superintendent for the M-ATV line at the production plant.
“(The M-ATV) is really the replacement for the Humvee (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) because the Humvee is thin layer sheet metal and didn’t do enough to protect the Marines,” Phillips explained.
“It is a Fast Tactical Assault Vehicle to get men in for certain missions and is the preferred means of troop transport,” he continued.
Phillips said the section of the M-ATV containing the driver and occupants is heavily protected by armor.
“It’s an armored capsule and can take a powerful (improvised explosive device) hit and keep Marines alive,” he said.
“Currently we’re working on a split line between Air Force and Marine Corps M-ATVs at a rate of about 16 to 20 a month,” Phillips said. “It takes
us about three to four weeks for each vehicle and the total repair cycle time for all the vehicles is 120 days.”
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