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Steep cost of military vehicles outlined in Army report

From Charley Keyes, CNN Senior National Security Producer
With new and dangerous warfare tactics to protect against, the cost of U.S. Army vehicles has skyrocketed.
With new and dangerous warfare tactics to protect against, the cost of U.S. Army vehicles has skyrocketed.
  • "Up-Armored" Humvees cost up to $220,000 each, up from an original $70,000, the report says
  • MRAPs, developed to protect against explosive devices, cost $430,000 and up, it says
  • The next generation of vehicles will cost more than $300,000 apiece, it says
  • U.S. Army
  • AM General Humvee
  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq

Washington (CNN) -- The dangerous roads of Iraq and Afghanistan have forced changes in what soldiers drive, and forced costs up as well, according to a just-released report on Army vehicles.

The former military workhorse, the Humvee, carried a $70,000 price tag. As that was modified, or "up-armored," the cost rose to from $160,000 to $220,000.

"This modern Up-Armored HMMWV (UAH), however, still does not fully meet the evolving mobility or protection requirements of our soldiers," according to the report, released by the Army Thursday. It looks ahead to future needs for tactical wheeled vehicles.

The next generation, JLTV, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, has new capabilities and a higher price but is still far cheaper than, MRAPs, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, developed to counter hidden explosive devices, the report notes.

"The cost to provide this capability is high -- it is estimated that each JLTV will cost in excess of $300,000 before equipping with essential combat systems -- but not as high as the cost of the MRAP family of vehicles, which cost $430,000 - $900,000 apiece to procure," the report says.

The Army estimates that its wheeled vehicles right now cost $70 billion.

"To meet the threat on today's battlefields, trucks must now be armored, have the additional capacity and power to carry that armor, and be outfitted with a wide variety of command, control, communications and computers, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment," the report says.

But the report also recognizes that budgets may be contracting.

"The Army is also on the downward side of a phase of increased funding to support fleet growth and modernization," the report says. "As a result, the Army of the next 15 years must adapt its TWV fleet to meet the threats of today and tomorrow, with reduced funding as compared to the past seven years."