Panda - M1235A1 MaxxPro

Panda is about to launch the M1235A1 MaxxPro in 1/35 scale. Here is a short history of the actual vehicle and some built-up photos of the model. Click on the thumbnail to see the full version of the vehicle

The M1235 MaxxPro Dash Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle was the third major version produced on the NAVISTAR series of Workstar Model 7000 truck chassis.  The Dash was developed at almost the same time as the M1234 Maxx Pro Plus MRAP, although for completely different reasons.

The Dash was designed as a result of American experiences in Afghanistan, where a smaller, lighter and more mobile vehicle was needed as the M1224 MaxxPro and MaxxPro Plus vehicles were sometimes limited by their size and lack of mobility.  Although equipped with the MaxxPro Plus' features, the Dash is a little smaller than the previous MaxxPro versions.  However, it is equipped with different armor package; the full A-Kit Explosively Formed penetrator (EFP) package. For specific dimensions, see the Navistar MaxxPro product brochures available in this vehicle index. Features that help to visually identify the Maxx Pro Dash version are: horizontal armored radiator slats, double air vents on the sides of the hood, a single air screen behind the front doors, single rear wheels and straight front axle.

After a short time in service, the US military found that the Dash was not as mobile as was needed and it was further upgraded with the DXM independent suspension system (ISS) which was developed by Hendickson Truck Suspension Systems and Axle Tech International.  It was designated M1235A1 DXM or ISS and is reportedly very mobile, agile and respected by its crews.  In fact, the upgrade was so successful, in 2012 an extensive program was undertaken to upgrade the entire MaxxPro fleet in Afghanistan to DXM standards (ISS & engine). The main visual difference between the Dash and Dash DXM is that the DXM has the ISS which has large springs showing in the front.  Due to the fitting of the ISS, the Dash DXM vehicle is a little taller.   

The third variant of the Dash/Dash DXM came into service in 2011: the M1235A2 MaxxPro Dash DXM Armored Ambulance.  Soon after in 2012, it was determined that the MaxxPro fleet should also be fitted with RPG Protection Kits (Q-Net Armor) to protect the vehicles against rocket propelled grenades.  The Q-Net armor had been previously fitted to the the M1249 MaxxPro Recovery Vehicle (MRV), which was developed about the same time as the Dash.  Although it shares many similarities with the Dash, it is not considered an official variant of this version.

The latest version of this series was developed in 2013: the M1235A3 MaxxPro with Survivability Upgrade (MSU) kit.  As the name of the upgrade implies, its purpose is to increase the protection level of vehicle and crew.  Features of the MSU are improved front and rear Jankel seats, front seat towers, rear seat brackets, front & rear Skydex blast mats, crew ripple floors, transmission retention bracket, "Punisher" Armor, energy displacement frame rail, interior & exterior cab seam welding, seam plates, rear wall retention brackets and upgraded rear suspension springs. 

Although it is certain that Dash DXM vehicles have received the MSU, we have found no information one way or the other that indicates the Dash vehicles have been so equipped.  Also, after much research we cannot find any definitive photos showing the entire M1235A3 vehicles.  This is probably due to the relatively recent addition of the MSU to the vehicles, the secrecy/security about the MSU and the nature of the upgrades; which are mostly internal and underneath the vehicle.