How to disable MRAP Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Light Armored Vehicles

Disable MRAP Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Light-Armored Vehicles

As of 2013, constitutional Americans have witnessed an increase in hostile posturing by the federal government. These hostile actions were clearly outlined by the CMF Website Administrator in the article ‘The American Government continues to target Preppers’. One of the most notable actions outlined in this article was the purchase of 2,700 MRAP Light Armored Vehicles by the Department of Homeland Security. A purchase warranted as unnecessary and irrational by seasoned military and police personnel. This single purchase of MRAPs is understandably unnerving for those in the survival community.

Its high-time Americans wake up and realize our nation is under a continual threat of tyranny. Now let’s step off the soapbox and get informed. When and if (when stressed more than if) the federal government uses light-armored vehicles against Americans, we will need to be fully informed prior to their use. You will need to know what an MRAP is, its capabilities, and its weaknesses. This guide will assist you and your survival group.

MRAPs Light Armored Vehicles Synopsis

An MRAP is a mine-resistant ambush protected light armored vehicle, ergo the acronym MRAP. There are several classes of MRAPs; RG33, MRUV, JERRV, M-ATV, MRAP II Cougar, BMRV. There are at least 22,000 MRAPs currently being used by US Armed Forces, and over 2,700 MRAP Cougars in use by the Department of Homeland Security. With plenty more MRAPs in production. MRAPs being used by DHS have been retrofitted for domestic missions, which means nothing at all because the vehicles still maintain their battle-ready capabilities.

The best offense is a good defense. The MRAPs have led to countless successful missions in the Middle East. This is primarily due to the MRAPs hull, V shaped and protected by Frag Kit 6 armor. MRAPs can withstand explosive damage caused by improvised munitions and IEDs (improvised explosive devices). The MRAP protects a crew of up to eight and two vehicle operators that includes a gun-shield for.50 Caliber M2HB/7.62mm Caliber M240G operators.

The FK6 Armor provides effective blast mitigation while protecting from fragmentary damage. Basically, even after suffering significant damage, the MRAP can continue moving, an added benefit of the Hutchinson run-flat tires.

With further retrofitting by DHS of MRAPs, a target-acquisition sensor turret can be mounted to the vehicle equipped with .50 Caliber M2HB or a MK19 40mm Grenade Launcher. Ironically, this turret system is known as XM153 CROWS II (Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station). CROWS II Operators acquire targets with the use of day cameras, IR (infrared) cameras, and laser guided range finders…all within the safety of the RG33 MRAP.

MRAP Cougars are equipped with MaxxForce 10 engines with 375hp capable of reaching speeds of 65 mph with a range of approximately 420 miles. Its maximum payload is up to 6,000 lbs. for a combined weight of 38,000 lbs.


MRAP Disabling Methodology

The MRAPs have significant weaknesses that can be exposed during combat. However, MRAPs will pose a considerable threat to your militia or survival group. Integrate MRAP disabling in FTX until you have battle-tested methodology established for disabling light armored vehicles. The primary disadvantage civilian based militia and survival groups are faced with is the unavailability of required military-grade ordnance.

EFP MRAP Disabling

Survival and militia groups should understand the need for improvised munitions while identifying responsible munitions application planning.

EFPs/SEFPs are self-forging warhead projectiles that produce a shaped charge to penetrate FK6 armor from standoff distances. Warning to reader, EFPs should only be used during SHTF Situations, Martial Law, and Foreign Attacks under strict ROE (rules of engagement).

EFP MRAP PenetratorDon’t have any EFPs in your bunker? Thought not. This is where improvised munitions i.e. explosive devices come into theater. While IED EFPs and SIM EFPs are not military grade, they are still effective to a certain degree.  The charges are generally cylindrical, fabricated from commonly available metal pipe, with the forward end closed by a concave copper disk-shaped liner to create a shaped charge. Explosive is loaded behind the metal liner to fill the pipe. Basically, the housing is glass filled polyurethane with an iron liner packed with a RDX C-4 mixture.

A military-grade example of this is the M2 SLAM (selectable lightweight attack munitions). Which is pocket sized and only a couple pounds. Don’t let the size fool you, the M2 SLAM can pierce the MRAP armor from 25 feet. For detailed instructions you can study the US Army Issued Improvised Munitions Handbook.

MRAP Armor Piercing Guns

To some degree .50 caliber firearms like the .50cal Browning Machine Gun (BMG) and the Barrett M82 can be effective, the disadvantage is unit exposure. Forcing the operator(s) to give up their position, in addition to engaging a target equipped with aerial support communication with surrounding ground forces. At all times, survival groups and militias should consider size of forces and ordnance in theater before engaging an MRAP.

MRAP Tip and Disable

The MRAP has a high center of gravity, thus making the American landscape a weapon against MRAP units. With the use of CCD, Decoy Tactics, and unit force application creating controlled movement into defined positions that include; weak bridges, bad roads, roads above grade, embankments and etc..

With this tip and disable method survival groups run a lower risk of exposure while preserving ammunition and ordnance. However, if hull penetration is required after the disabling of an MRAP the operators are likely to engage your group. Before approaching, your unit must take cover positions and engage the operators as they evacuate the MRAP. Unit leaders should always make the call…eliminate, or apprehend. Apprehension is only contingent upon overall mission success.

MRAP Pitfalls

Survival groups can protect established FOB’s (forward operating bases) and strategic sites by using a very old trap known as the pitfall. This method is typically used for animals, but the same methodology can be applied in the presence of suitable time allowance.

Pitfalls are holes in the ground with a false floor that have been camouflaged and disguised to emulate the floor-bed. Due to the size of LAVs/MRAPs the hole would have to be at least 18 x 8 x 4. This method should be applied by militia groups of substantial size that allow for a group of six to dig the hole in less than an hour, or when a backhoe is available.

Urban MRAP Disabling

Urban MRAP disabling will be reliant upon IEDs and .50 caliber rifles, other considerations can be made for smaller townships with fewer POEs (points of entry) that can be blockaded. Upon the arrival of one or more MRAPs at the POEs, militia units can acquire MRAP targets from a more advantageous position.

Blockades should consist of heavy equipment, abandoned cars, and other heavy payloads that are beyond the MRAPs debris clearing capabilities. Militia Exercises of this nature should take into account the MRAP CROWS II and M240G Operators capable of engaging targets occupying highrises and other buildings.


In closing… such operations that include anti-MRAP defensive measures should be performed utilizing predator drone evasion and concealment techniques previously outlined on usCrow. MRAPs are nothing to joke about, they are a threat to your survival group and should always be treated as such.

A fair amount of deliberation took place before the writing of this article due to the active use of MRAPs in the Middle East by American Armed Forces. However, the methods reviewed in this guide had previously been established or are not operationally effective against USAF MRAPs in the Middle East.

View video: DHS-HSI Homeland Security Investigations SRT MRAP Armored Vehicle
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About CMF Contributor

Certified NRA Instructor, Certified Military Platform and Performance Orientated Instructor, Training Personnel, and Emergency Management. Currently working towards M.A. Emergency Management - 101ABN/82NDABN - Charlie Wardogs

64 suggestions on “How to disable MRAP Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Light Armored Vehicles

  1. Thanks, these “operators” should never be considered friendlies or to be captured, for the lack of resources in an SHTF. They made conscious decisions and unlikely to change their mentality.

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  5. They used vehicles very similar to this in Northern Ireland. The English wanted to quell disturbances created by the IRA. The Irish first attacked them with balloons full of oil-based paint. This covered all the optics and viewable glass. Once unable to see, they barricaded the vehicle in place with small cars and other obstructions. Lastly, they built large fires under the MRAP and waited for the hatches to open. End of story for the occupants.

    • The hole does not have to be large enough to swallow the MRAP, it just has to be bog and deep enough to trap the front end and get the rear wheels off the ground. It just needs to be a “nose dive”.

    • THE IRA FOUND THE HOMES OF BRIT SOLDIERS LIVING IN N.IRELAND AND KIDNAPPED AND KILLED THEIR FAMILIES.VERY PAINFUL FOR THE BRITS.ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR.

      • Sorry I thought the idea was to disable the unit not kill the operators, Assuming the operators were LE’s and not looking for a shoot out.

        • Depends on your LE, I guess. in some nations LEs are trained to escalate the situation, never de-escalate, so I imagine a shootout is not out of the question for them

  6. There is one weak spot in the armor. A friend who is in a maintenence unit told me where it is located.

  7. Sun Tsu said: win whole! With that said “capture” is the optimum goal. I believe brian had the best idea. A vaporized paint bomb to blind all the windows/ digital optics (those of you with 1st hand experience with the MRAP, could you tell us where those sensors are located?) would be highly effective in slowing down or stopping the vehicle and forcing the crew to evacuate or attempt to clean the windows (@ great risk) i would suggest mixing the paint with some kind of similarly fluid adhesives so that the wipers would smear the paint rather than simply remove it. In this manner, if the crew can be neutralized then the vehicle is yours!

  8. Ballistic glass is extremely weak to heat dama. One moMolotov cocktail would just about blacken the driver window if you can get close enough. As for the crows, if you can manage to hit the ammo box you can render it jammed

  9. I read that if the air brake system is breached, like shooting out the air-brake canister, it will lock all the brakes……….

  10. So the mraps dont just keep fuckin rolling after hitting and IED. Yall are fuckin dumb if you think they are just some unstoppable fucking machine. When an IED detonates it shreds the damn tires. Blows big ass holes in them. No mayter what fucking run flat system you have it wont have tires. If the IED id big enough it will still kill the crew members due to the shockwave. Get a fucking ue people.

  11. Don’t overthink. This thing was built on a International 8000 cement truck chassis, not an offroad vehicle. It is designed to be on the flats in the open. Cut down trees or utility poles on top of each other to block roads and divert it into sand or mud. Use smoke to make it hard for the crew to see. Use chlorine or acid based moltovs to produce toxic gases so the crew will exit. It was designed to resist explosion and penetration so don’t attack on that vector. Focus on slowing it down, getting it in soft soils, cutting off the crew’s air, vision, and ability to turn around. The Germans used drums of fuel and a pipe to make a remote flamethrowers. Don’t try to attack it actively at it’s hardest point, attack it passively at it’s weakest point. Attack the fuel resupply.

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  14. Weakest spot on any armored vehicle is the rear and top. If it is a tracked vehicle, then the tracks.

  15. Here is one for the military guys. MRAPS in a urban environment can be done easy as said by the guy from Iraq. In a city close off the street using large trucks to block the road . . Use motive cocktail ( a few) at the truck ) . Let truck burn. There are other tactics that will go with that. Burn truck like in the movie Red Dawn

  16. We had a pvt mess one of ours up by running over 3 strand razor wire. Stopped us dead and took about 2 hrs with Gerber multi tools to get it going. The best ambush is an accident, mrap runs over crap in road razor wire in crap mrap stopped occupants exit to fix problem occupants captured or eliminated mrap taken. I know its not that easy but worth looking into. Also dont forget the m3 bradly has a fire suppression system with an external activation handle unless they moved it it should be on left side near driver hatch. Just in case all of them that were discontinued were sold to other agencies.

  17. Learn from history what works against larger (better equipped) forces. Look at what worked for the WWII anti-tank barriers. Movement funnels and pre-sighted shooting lanes. The Sammy’s used rubble and tire-fires to great effect. One can easily disguise Concertina with Kudzu or other rapid growth vine or bush.

    Sappers Lead the Way.

  18. Shaped charges are effective, and the Taliban has begun using large diameter shaped water charges that cut through mraps like hot butter.

  19. Chlorine triflouride, available commercially as a specialty cleaning agent, is hypergolic, that is self igniting with just about anything including rock, it would cause the paint, glass rubber and perhaps even the metal of an MRAP to burn. The only known way to extinguish such a fire is to let it burn out. Additionally the combustion gasses are corrosive and toxic.

  20. Could the wheels be cabled together somehow ? That’d be using its own leverage against itself. It would possibly disable itself trying to fight it’s way out.

  21. These fuckers really aren’t that difficult to disable. I broke a couple just operating them as a Marine in Iraq. An 18-inch deep trench can split the axle at pursuit speeds as low as 20mph. They are extremely clumsy and slow moving off road, which makes them easy targets off of the asphalt. A good way to disable them while stored or standing is to take a medium sized sledgehammer to the bolt on the outside of the wheel that holds in the differential fluid. Their height is also a substantial weakness, as the turret is rendered ineffective at extreme close quarters. Stay clear of the gun ports and do work.

  22. While the MRAPs are a single class of vehicles each individual vehicle has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. I’ll cover the MaxxPro, Cougar, and M-ATV since I’m familiar with them.

    The MaxxPro does has a very high center of gravity and the Cougar’s is a bit lower. The M-ATV on the other hand was designed as an all terrain vehicle. It has a low center of gravity, is light compared to other MRAPs and has a powerful drivetrain. It can navigate almost any terrain.

    The MaxxPro and M-ATV have minimal armor around the engine compartment. A 50 cal bullet could disable with a (few) well placed shot. The Cougar on the hand has far more protection from small arms fire to the engine. I doubt even a full automatic 50 cal could disable one. All MRAPs have the Boomerang anti sniper detection system anyways, as soon as one was fired at it will automatically display your direction and elevation.

    The MaxxPro and M-ATV can be armed with the CROWS II as well. It has a range of nearly 5000 meters with a M2 50 cal, 50 times optical zoom, a laser range finder that automatically adjusts for elevation, tracking features, an IR camera, and armor plating on the sides. Plus it can communicate with the Boomerang to automatically target hostiles.

  23. As a machinist and mechanic, I have been turning the wheels in my head, figuring other methods of disabling these. What about a fast acting hydraulic ram, or explosive ram setup, slid under the differential (while distraction is in force, naturally) and set off, to basically make it “do the splits” in which I mean splitting the axles out of the differential by.extreme force, using the weak points in a drivetrain’s design (clips or weak points fixing the axles to the spider gear) Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree, but.it seems feasible to me. It then would have to fight against a dropped front end, or dragging ass end, to move around, if it even could at that.point.

  24. an emp would be the best way to disable enemy equipment but also your own equipment. would anyone rule the use of emp out?

  25. I Used to build, repair, and maintain these. MRAP’s, MATV’s, MAXPRO’s, MRV’s, you name it… i know their biggest weakness is their high center of gravity. in the right situations, ive seen roadside bombs flip these over cliffs…. Pit Falls are a really good idea. Theyre also very restrictive in vision when your not using optics. if the cameras focused on something, the rest of the crew is damn near blind….. the wheel wells (Brakes) are too easy to bust. a good hit with a hammer can break the brake drums. **also**the master power switch is located on the outside of most military vehicles**

  26. am i mistaken or doesnt the maxpro mrap that dhs is using run the ctis system not runflats also just an fyi the brake chambers on these mraps are not protected and very easy to take out with small arms

  27. i miss the old Molotov cocktail (1/3 petrol+2/3 oil) and the simple paint cans, both used to blind periscopes, if they can’t see anything, they will stop and leave the vehicle soon.

  28. Moltov Cocktails have also been effective against armor in urban environments. During the Tiananmen Square incident Molotov cocktails were effectively used against tanks… Unfortunately for the students they did not have fire arms and were gun downed by ground forces. The flames will also burn the tires.

  29. Militias need in addition to their current training, technology training. This war can be fought much differently, EMP’s disable vehicles that arent shielded, not beyond the realm of possibility to produce..GWEN towers, taken over can be made to produce frequencies of power that could render adaptive camo (crystal based adaptive camo) useless…etc..technology is there..should use it. Also appropriating goods and items needed for survival should be talked about, as well as developing communication networks that dont rely on wireless communication.

  30. The size of the hole or pitfall you described could lead to last minute regrets concerning hole size….

  31. if these units use the navistar 10 or maxxforce 10,couldn’t you disable the motor,by a gasoline cocktail to the intake,this usually frys these diesel motors.worst case you could slip gas or water in the fuel tank.these international motors are so easy to shut down,its gotta be either cut off the air intake with dust,smoke,or gas fumes,or fuel system with water or gasoline and they won’t go nowhere…jmo

  32. Another thought, what about using semi-trucks and hitting them broadside?
    Rig up a semi with steel plates at the front @ 45 degree angles to deflect incoming rounds, cut a slit to see out of of, and run them off the road, once they tipped over, they are like a turtle, not going anywhere..

    • If the element of surprise is on your side that would work well, I’d be concerned about the .50 cal M2 and the grenade launcher though. You could simulate this in LFX if you can find abandoned heavy machinery.

    • They are intended to be incorporated into LFX (live fire exercises) – since this is a national militia each region may produce further unconventional means of disabling MRAPs that could prove to be more effective.

  33. great info. thanks, my question is (understanding the run/flat tires) at what point does the MRAPs become unable to travel or navigate with NO rubber on the wheels? Is this an option of limiting MRAPs effective operation in the rural or urban landscape if you have removed the tire portion of the wheels (ie burn them off) How about targeting the CROW ll cameras used in its remote activation, is that effective as well?

    • Keep in mind the CROWS II Targeting System is specific to the Spec Ops RG33 MRAPs. To the extent of our knowledge the MaxxPro MRAPs delivered to DHS are not currently equipped with CROWS II Targeting Systems… but they can be. The targeting system itself is susceptible to standard counter-surveillance and IR blocking techniques, such techniques to be outlined in a future guide. MRAP run-flat tires can be disabled, however the battle components of the MRAP would still be operational. Keep in mind the Hutchinson run-flat tires that come equipped on MRAPs have steel inserts, so even after the meat is gone they will continue to move. For urban defense LAVs should be channeled into a CP via blockades and should be engaged (IEDs, EFPs, 50 cal) with adequate cover. Light-armor doesn’t mean impenetrable.

      • One thing at a time… I’d imagine in theory an improvised paint explosive could disable the MRAP surveillance systems with enough paint coverage. But that would be in theory and not in practice, keep in mind the camera system is specific to the RG33 and MRAPs like the Cougar without spec ops retrofitting simply have an M2 Gunshield Operator.

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