The International MaxxPro MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle is an armored fighting vehicle designed by American company Navistar International’s subsidiary Navistar Defense along with the Israeli Plasan Sasa, who designed and manufactures the vehicle’s armor. Extensively tested by the military and used in theater today, the MaxxPro features a V-shaped hull and other design features that greatly improve survivability. With so much protection, it’s the vehicle that every crew wants when they’re out in the field. The vehicle was designed to take part in the US Military’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle program, led by the US Marine Corps, as well as a similar US Army-led Medium Mine Protected Vehicle program.
MRAPs are categorized as category 1 or category 2, depending on usage and passenger compartment space, and Navistar produces the MaxxPro in both sizes, although the vast majority of those sold have been category 1 MRAPs. The MaxxPro Plus model comes with dual rear wheels for increased load carrying capacity, such as an ambulance or EFP protected variant. The latest model produced is the MaxxPro Dash, which is a smaller and lighter category 1 model. Both the Plus and Dash models use the MaxxForce 10 engine with 375 hp, in place of the DT 530 with 330 hp, used in the original base model produced. On June 16, 2008 Navistar debuted a new version called MaxxPro Plus. MaxxPro Plus has increased engine power and payload, as well as Frag Kit 6 enhancements for increased explosively formed penetrator protection.
The MaxxPro utilizes a crew capsule with a V-shaped hull, mounted on an International 7000 chassis. The V-hull deflects the blast of a land mine or improvised explosive device (IED) away from the vehicle to protect its occupants. Because the chassis is mounted outside the armored crew capsule, there are concerns that it will likely be destroyed in the event of an ambush, leaving the soldiers inside stranded. However, according to Navistar Defense spokesperson Roy Wiley, the MaxxPro “did extremely well during the tests, and we are extremely pleased.” This design may prove as effective as the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann ATF Dingo that uses a similar design, one which mounts an armored capsule to a Unimog chassis. This design has survived a 7 kg (15 lb) land mine blast with no injuries.
Initially just two vehicles were delivered for testing at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in March 2007. About 9,000 MaxxPro vehicles were bought by the U.S. Army between 2007 and 2011, and they plan to keep only about 3,000 of them. Navistar is pitching the MaxxPro MRAP as a vehicle that can be upgraded into a mobile command post or power generator. With budget cuts, the plan would allow the Army to get solutions they want from the existing fleet. The company is also planning to make it a maintenance vehicle and mortar carrier. The MaxxPro has been exported to a number of countries. Largest operators are Jordan (100), Romania (60) and Hungary (42).