It is based on the RG-31, which itself is based on the Mamba APC, although it is roughly twice the weight of a RG-31. There are two variants, the standard RG-33 has four wheels and weighs 22 tons while the extended RG-33L variant has six wheels, can carry twice as many people in the back, and weighs 26 to 37 tons depending on the version.
It was selected to be the sole producer of the US Army's $2.88 billion Medium Mine Protected Vehicle program. The initial contract is worth $20 million. BAE representative Doug Coffey says that live-fire testing at Aberdeen, Maryland, proved the RG-33 to be the overall most survivable MRAP vehicle.
The RG33 is manufactured in several configurations including the category I 4×4, category II 6×6, the heavy armored ground ambulance (HAGA) and the special operations command (SOCOM) vehicle.
It features a monocoque armored v-hull, for maximized interior space, seats and footrests suspended from the ceiling, run-flat tires, and an optional armored glass turret (Gunner Protection Kit or GPK), for maximized visibility and protection. The monocoque hull does not extend under the engine like some other armored vehicles. The engine compartment is a separate moncoque structure that bolts to rest of the hull. The vehicle is notable for its extensive use of TRAPP armored glass in the crew compartment. Like the Buffalo, it can be equipped with a robotic arm.
The U.S. has fielded 259 RG-33 4x4 variants in a Special Operations Command (SOCOM) configuration as shown above with remote weapon stations, two extra seats, and a rear door assist. The U.S. has also fielded 16 RG-33L 6x6 variants in a Heavy Armored Ground Ambulance (HAGA) configuration.
The Pentagon has future plans to add the Crows II remote weapon station, Boomerang anti-sniper system, and the Frag Kit 6 anti-EFP armor.