the height of fielding operations, airlift costs were $134,000 per vehicle versus $18,200 per vehicle for sealift. Hence, the transition to sealift for the Iraq theater resulted in a huge cost savings relative to airlift.
Among many issues that arose from airlifting MRAP vehicles was the extra protection of the EFP kits that resulted from the MEAP program. Depending on the variant, these kits add anywhere from 4,300 to 11,000 pounds per vehicle, which in some cases puts the vehicles over their GVWR. Besides the weight, most of the aircraft used to transport these vehicles could not accommodate the width of the vehicle once the kit was installed. Airlifting vehicles with EFP kits installed was therefore not a feasible option, and the EFP kits were flown separately and mounted at destination. Not all MRAPs were retrofitted with EFP kits, and, as of this writing, only the vehicles destined for areas prone to EFPs receive the kits (Hansen, 2008, June 10).
The addition of EFP kits has also caused problems in ground transportation. The additional weight changes a vehicle’s center of gravity, complicating trailer transport. This creates problems even in the U.S. where road conditions are better than in Iraq. However, once these kits are bolted on in Kuwait, movement by trailer is the only available means of moving them into Iraq for fielding. Installing these kits in Kuwait alleviated the transportation problem from the U.S. into theater but added a problem of transportation from Kuwait into Iraq (2008, June 10).
Logistically, EFP kit additions in theater caused major concern for the JPO as it created requirements for, among other things, personnel to do the work, lease space for the actual work, and the health and welfare of the personnel. Despite these challenges, the JPO has successfully shipped the EFP kits and vehicles separately, married them in theater, and delivered them to warfighters (Hansen, 2008, June 10). This additional requirement and complexity in the value stream, meanwhile, has been transparent to receiving units.