Nearly half of all U.S. military deaths in Iraq are caused by roadside bombs, the cobbled-together explosives known by the now-household acronym IED (Improvised Explosive Device). These homemade killers are powerful enough to launch an up-armored Humvee in the air, penetrate it and split it in half. Which is why the military is hustling to get a new generation of MRAPs– that's Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles– to Iraq. The New York Times reports that 2,500 MRAPs have already been deployed; 5500 are due in theater by June. The from the four-wheeled, 40k pound "Category 1" MaxxPro, to the six-wheeled Buffalo, which sports a mine-clearing robotic arm and a 12-liter diesel International straight six (yeah, that's two liters per cylinder). With mine-resistant undercarriages, AK47 repellent windows, city bus-inspired shock absorbing driver compartments, and Corbeau four-point racing harnesses, MRAP's are considered to be 300 percent safer in an IED blast than an up-armored Hummer. Which leaves only one question: how long before one of these bad boys ends up in a rap video?
More by Edward Niedermeyer