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The Caiman is an armored vehicle with a V-hull design based on the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) and Low Signature Armored Cab (LSAC), initially developed by Stewart & Stevenson. Stewart & Stevenson was later acquired in 2005 by Armor Holdings, which developed the Caiman from the FMTV and LSAC designs. Armor Holdings also owned O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt (which had exclusive rights to the up-armor kits the U.S. Military selected for their Humvees) and Integrated Textile Systems (who had an ultra high molecular weight polyethylene fiber called Tensylon that is processed into composite armor) at the time. BAE Systems acquired Armor Holdings in 2007, and now develops and manufactures the Caiman as well as the family of Medium Tactical Vehicles it is based on.
The Caiman completed testing by the US Military at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in July 2007. On 13 July 2007, Armor Holdings received a prime contract award by the US Navy on the behalf of the US Marine Corps for $518.5 million under the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle program. The contract specifies delivery of 1,154 Category I MRAP vehicles and 16 Category II MRAP vehicles by the end of February 2008.
It is likely that the Cat I will be based on the LMTV, while the Cat II will be based on the MTV. The Cat I Caiman weighs 14 tons and the Cat II version weighs 24 tons which, according to the Vice President of Armor Holdings, is lighter in weight than its competitors. The work will be performed at BAE Systems M&PS facilities located in Fairfield, Ohio and Sealy, Texas.
- 10-man crew capacity
- Tensylon composite armor
- Armor enhancement capable
- Accepts all types of manned and remote weapons stations
- 85 percent parts commonality with standard FMTV models (40,000 of which are already fielded)
- Full-time all wheel drive
- Fully automatic transmission
- Electronic Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS)
- Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
- Class V Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETM)
In September 2010 BAE Systems has been awarded a $629 million contract from the U.S. Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Joint Program Office (JPO) to upgrade 1,700 Caiman MRAP vehicles to Caiman Multi-Terrain Vehicle - Caiman MTV standard. The upgraded vehicle integrates a refurbished and improved armored capsule from an existing vehicle with a new high-power automotive power train, chassis and independent suspension made by ArvinMeritor. Greater survivability is achieved through an enhanced monolithic floor, a strengthened chassis frame and better blast absorbing seats.
On December 18, 2011, a Caiman was part of the last US military convoy out of Iraq, being the last vehicle to cross the border into Kuwait, signifying the end of US military presence and operations in the eight-year Iraq War.
Starting in October 2013, local police and sheriff offices throughout the country began assuming control of many Caiman 6x6 MTVs. The US Federal Government offered these vehicles to local jurisdictions as the need for them greatly decreased after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars ended. The Caiman MTV normally costs $412,000 but is sold for only its transportation costs to the local jurisdiction.
In September 2014, the U.S. approved a $2.5 billion deal with the United Arab Emirates Army for over 4,500 surplus U.S. MRAPs for increased force protection, conducting humanitarian assistance operations, and protecting vital international commercial trade routes and critical infrastructure. 1,150 vehicles were Caimans.
- United States: United States Armed Forces
- Marine Corps News> MRAP Orders Approach 5,000
- DefenseNews.com - U.S. Marines Order 1,170 MRAPs - 07/13/07 18:55
- Article on Tensylon based composite armor used in Caiman.
- "defence.professionals". defpro.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- BAE Systems Receives $629 Million Contract to Upgrade Caiman MRAP
- United States Nortwest Regional SWAT Team is now equipped with Caiman 6x6 MRAP vehicle - Armyrecognition.com, 3 November 2013
- United States approved major contract of MRAP vehicles for UAE - Armyrecognition.com, 27 September 2014