A $100,000 military jeep that can’t be driven in a war zone? Sweet.
The Marine Corps is paying $100,000 apiece for a revamped military jeep that some critics call a rip-off of taxpayers, according to a news report Thursday.
The Marines budgeted to buy more than 400 vehicles, called Growlers, under a contract that could total $296 million including ammunition, USA Today said, citing Pentagon records.
Built by Ocala, Fla.-based American Growler, the Growler is made partly from salvaged M151 jeep parts and is available in several versions.
Four years ago, the Dominican Republic paid $33,000 for a version of the Growler, the paper said citing U.S. Export-Import Bank records.
A commercial version of the jeep costs just $7,500.
The Marines’ version has considerable upgrades from the commercial and Dominican models, the Corps and contractor said, including a turbo-diesel engine, disc brakes and other systems adapted from modern vehicles.
But some critics charge that the unarmored vehicle makes no sense for today’s missions, the paper said.
Under current military safety rules, the Growler would be barred from service in Iraq except as a utility vehicle that doesn’t leave the security of a base, according to the report.