MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected)

The venerable HMMWV served the United States military as the go-to vehicle for 25 solid years. Before that, various militarized Jeep models had been pressed into service since 1941, when the army first identified the need for a lightweight, all-terrain vehicle capable of carrying a few troops and all their gear into battle.

It seems the so-called Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAPS for short) aren't going to have the same kind of life expectancy as their predecessors. According to CNN, the military is finding it difficult to cook up uses for the 20,000 MRAPS it possesses that are no longer needed for the war in Iraq, where the threat of improvised explosive devises necessitated gigantic V-shaped hulls and several tons of armor.

Due to the sheer size and weight of the machines, along with the specialized nature of their design, the military isn't likely to continue using MRAPS in differing battlefield conditions after troops are pulled from Afghanistan in 2014. So, what will become of these 20,000 MRAPS? So far, the only option on the list is for mine clearing and explosive ordinance disposal. Thing is, they don't need 20,000 of them for that.

In any case, one thing is for certain: Lives were saved due to the ability of the MRAPS to protect U.S. troops from roadside explosives (see above). And for that, everyone is thankful. As far as the future goes... may we suggest heavily armored food trucks? Or perhaps the SEMA Show circuit?