Advanced Armored Trucks Headed to U.S. Troops

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Roadside bombs by far, are the number one cause of death for U.S. forces.

To better protect troops, the Pentagon has ordered new vehicles to be rushed to Afghanistan.

The vehicles are far less vulnerable to roadside bombs.

The heavily-armored off-road combat M-ATV is designed specifically for the tough terrain and primitive infrastructure in Afghanistan.

"They're faster. They're lighter. They're as survivable, said Ken Juergens of Oshkosh Corporation-- the truck's manufacturer. "And it can get to the places to save lives. "

The Pentagon believes they will make a difference.

The Department of Defense has already ordered more than5,000 M-ATVs at a cost of nearly $1.5 million each.

"You bet it's an urgency. These vehicles are hugely important," said Gen. David Petraeus. "The additional protection, the additional mobility that they will provide our troopers is going to be of enormous importance to them."

There has been a dramatic increase in improvised explosive devices or IEDs in Afghanistan.

In 2007, IEDs claimed the lives of 30 American troops.

In 2008, 83 U.S. troops died because of IEDs, and so far this year, the number has nearly doubled, including 24 in September alone.

The Pentagon insists the M-ATV will offer the best protection possible for troops in Afghanistan, and in June, requested that the Oshkosh Corporation quickly build thousands of the agile trucks.

"We've done everything we can to ensure the safety and security of the people inside," said Robert Bohn, CEO of Oshkosk.

"It meets an obligation we have to our troopers as we ask them to take on a very tough mission against a very tough enemy," Patraeus added.

Earlier this month, the first M-ATVs were air lifted to Afghanistan.

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