In the latest package of military aid of the US for Ukraine in the amount of $625 million there was an item that most readers did not pay attention to, rejoicing in the more familiar HIMARS and M777. But in fact, it is even more important than the new MLRS, 155-mm howitzers and high-precision shells. It is about 200 International MaxxPro armored vehicles with enhanced anti-mine protection, which will be delivered to the Armed Forces.
First of all, mobility is the trump card of the Armed Forces, which our military has been successfully playing for the past 7 months. Secondly, during the offensive, losses, and damage to armored vehicles are very significant, so they must be replenished. And thirdly, good mine protection is a strength, and it saved the lives of many of our soldiers.
International M1224 MaxxPro MRAP – this is the full name of the base version of this vehicle, which in the future should replace all HMMWVs in the US Marine Corps. MRAP stands for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles. International MaxxPro belongs to MRAPs of the first and second categories, although the lion’s share of vehicles that have already arrived to customers are precisely MRAP Category I (MRAP-MRUV), that is, light mine-resistant universal vehicles designed for operations in the city.
The International MaxxPro is manufactured by Navistar International, well known for its tractors and trucks. The Navistar Defense division, which was created in 2003 specifically for the production of military equipment, cooperates with the Israeli company Plasan Sasa. Navistar is responsible for the chassis and Plasan is responsible for armor.
Like most MRAPs, the International MaxxPro has a V-shaped armored hull that dissipates the energy of the blast and protects the crew. When a mine explodes, the chassis is usually destroyed, but the soldiers in the cabin will only get a concussion. During the autumn offensive, we already saw many examples when MRAPs saved the lives of soldiers. According to the International MaxxPro specification, it can save the crew when detonating a land mine weighing up to 7 kg. Landmines are a completely different matter, but the Russians hardly use them.
One of the features of International MaxxPro is the ease and speed of repair and maintenance, including in the field, and the use of standard parts. For example, the MaxxPro’s armored hull is bolted together, not welded like other MRAPs. Since 2014, the MaxxPro has been equipped with an electronic stability control (ESC) system that prevents the car, which has a fairly high center of mass, from tipping over.
Testing of the first two M1224 MaxxPro MRAP prototypes began in March 2007, and already on May 31, 2007, the company received an order from the US Marine Corps for 1,200 machines with delivery in February 2008. Over the next three years, about 9,000 International MaxxPros were manufactured different configurations.
International MaxxPro has been involved in the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. These vehicles are in service with the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps, Department of Homeland Security, and police units of the United States. They are used by the armies of Afghanistan, Algeria, Albania, Bangladesh, Croatia, Georgia, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Slovakia, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates.
In addition to the basic version of the M1224 MaxxPro, there are also: more powerful and better armored MaxxPro Plus M1234; lighter and more maneuverable MaxxPro Dash M1235; medical MaxxPro Dash DXM Ambulance; more capacious MaxxPro XL, which belong to MRAP Category II (MRAP-JERRV), they are longer and accommodate up to 10 paratroopers; evacuation MRVs and command MCOTMs.
In short, you got it. A good, reliable, easy-to-maintain vehicle that can save the lives of our soldiers. Perhaps even more important than additional HIMARS. In fact, International MaxxPro has been spotted in Ukraine since mid-August 2022. In the latest package of military aid from the US there are really a lot of them and they will definitely be needed by the Armed Forces to continue the offensive.
Weight – 12.7–13.4 t (CAT I), 13.6–14.5 t (CAT II)
Length – 6.5–7.2 m
Width – 2.5 m
Height – 3 m
Crew – 3–10
Engine – MaxxForce D9.3I6 I6
Power – 330 hp or 375 hp in Plus and Dash versions
Carrying capacity – 1.6–5 tons
Gearbox – Allison 3000, 5-speed automatic
Suspension – 4×4, semi-elliptic wheel springs
Ground clearance – 0.35 m
Armament – 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun in a semi-open turret