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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Army’s goal is to purchase up to 18,000 vehicles designed to stand up better against roadside bombs to augment its fleet of up-armored Humvees, said Army’s the director of Force Development.

The new vehicles could be a combination Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles and Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, Brig. Gen. Charles A. Anderson told reporters Tuesday.

The Army has already asked for money to buy 2,500 MRAPs, which have V-shaped hulls to deflect blasts and have proven to provide more protection against roadside bombs than Humvees.

Anderson said the Army also plans to accelerate the deployment of the JLTV, which is currently in developmental testing.

“The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, right now, is supposed to come to the Army in 2012,” Anderson told reporters Tuesday. “Well, that’s too late for us. We want to accelerate the JLTV to the left, bring it earlier.”

The Army hopes to start buying the JLTVs, which will ultimately replace the Humvee, in 2009 or 2010, Anderson said.

Anderson could not say Tuesday when the Army hopes to have all of the 18,000 new vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Marine Corps plans to field 3,377 JLTVs through fiscal 2013, after which the JLTV will replace the Humvee as the Corps’ primary tactical vehicle.

The Corps also plans replace all of its up-armored Humvees in Iraq with about 3,700 MRAP by the end of 2008.

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