Imagine a car that costs a half-million dollars. The only possible reason I could imagine wanting one is if it would keep me alive in a place where people were trying very hard to kill me.
No, I'm not talking about Washington, D.C., at rush hour.
The second generation Mine-Resistant All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV) have been rolling into Afghanistan for over a year now. These nifty coupes are smaller than their MRAP cousins in Iraq, and cost *ONLY* 500K apiece.
Oh, the delivery cost is another $135, 000, but who's counting? And you thought your tags and registration were expensive.
Yes, they're expensive. And uncomfortable to boot. I rode all night in the back seat of one of these on my last embed with the troops this past April. The back seat was apparently designed for a masochistic midget who never needed sleep. For a half mil, you'd think they could at least make a seat that reclines.
Anyway, the military just reported that M-ATV's have significantly reduced deaths from IED strikes in Afghanistan. The numbers are astounding:
Prior to the M-ATV's arrival, most patrols were conducted in Humvees. The chances of dying in an IED strike on one of those was about 80 percent. Now, the Army reports a death rate of around 18 percent in the new vehicles. Wow. Sign me up.
Come to think of it, one of these babies might just help me get the kids to their soccer games faster. But at that price, it had better have one HECK of a sound system.