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Archive for the ‘Mobility’ Category

SOFIC 19 – ZERO Motorcycles MMX

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

The ZERO MMX features a 100% electric power train, allowing nearly silent movement over complex terrain.

The MMX offers a top sport of 85 mph and 78 ft lb of peak torque. It uses a swappable lithium ion intelligence modular battery and features a clutchless direct drive.

It features a range of 79 miles in the city or 65 to 175 minutes of recon riding or 45 to 155 minutes of aggressive Tactical riding.

Introducing HPG Mobility

Friday, May 10th, 2019

From the time they were kids in 1970s Alaska, Hill People Gear’s founders Scot and Evan Hill had lots of experience getting vehicles stuck in the backcountry. That led to a lifelong interest in NOT getting stuck miles from nowhere. They’ve always tried to have vehicles capable enough to get them to remote locations for their wilderness adventures and then back again with minimal fuss.

The Barney brothers – Colorado boys and Eagle Scouts just like the Hill brothers – have been working on Scot and Evan’s rigs for the last 7 years at their Grand Junction shop Barney Brothers Off Road. When Chad Barney pointed out the pseudo-PALS molded seatbacks on the new Jeep JL Rubicon and said “hey, do you think you could build some good bags for this location?”, the idea for HPG Mobility was born. The Hill Brothers have been building solutions to problems in their own rigs for decades, why not do the same for others?

HPG Mobility takes the Hill People Gear design ethos and applies it to products for vehicles. Initial offerings include pouches designed for JL Rubicon seatbacks and other MOLLE vehicle applications and Hi-Lift mounts for factory roof fails. The HPG Mobility line will continue to expand over time.

HPG Mobility products are making their debut next weekend at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff AZ. They’re also available directly online at and on a wholesale basis from

The Dutch Armed Forces Select Rheinmetall to Modernize Their Bergepanzer 3 Büffel Armoured Recovery Vehicles

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

The Dutch armed forces select Rheinmetall to modernize their Bergepanzer 3 Büffel armoured recovery vehicles, making them a match for today’s operational requirements

Rheinmetall is to modernize the Dutch military’s fleet of Bergepanzer 3 Büffel (‘buffalo’) armoured recovery vehicles. A contract to this effect was signed on 18 April 2019 at Soesterberg, a military base near Utrecht. In a first phase, four vehicles will undergo a combat performance upgrade. The order is worth a double-digit million-euro figure. In a second phase, a further 21 vehicles are to undergo corresponding modernization. This option, also worth a figure in the double-digit euro range, already features in the contract.

Starting immediately, Rheinmetall will completely overhaul the Royal Netherlands Army’s Bergepanzer 3 Büffel ARVs, bringing them up to the latest technological and tactical standard. This will extend the service life of these tried-and-tested combat support vehicles – developed by Rheinmetall on the basis of the Leopard 2 chassis – through to the year 2040. The Dutch armed forces will take delivery of the first vehicles at the beginning of 2021.

Modernization work will take place at Rheinmetall locations in Germany as well as in Ede in the Netherlands. It will include a complete overhaul of the individual armoured recovery vehicles and a new digital operating concept; the installation of advanced visualization technology; mission packages featuring ballistic and mine protection; and new battlefield recovery equipment together as well as a universal transport platform. Also included in the contract are technical documentation, training and other services.

This service life extension will give the Dutch armed forces a reconfigured state-of-the-art ARV with significant growth potential. New force protection features both on and in the vehicle will keep the crew extremely safe from modern battlefield threats. Cutting-edge visualization systems, digital operating elements and command systems will support the crew while carrying out their tasks. Furthermore, new battlefield recovery equipment will boost the vehicle’s tactical effectiveness. It will be transferred to the rear section of the vehicle. This will let the crew hook up to a damaged Royal Dutch Army vehicle such as the Bushmaster, Boxer, CV 90 infantry fighting vehicle, PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer, Leguan bridge-laying tank, Kodiak combat engineering vehicle or the Leopard 2 main battle tank without having to leave the safety of the fighting compartment, before towing it from the battlefield at high speed in forward gear. In addition, the modified version of the Bergepanzer 3 Büffel ARV will feature a flexible-use universal transport platform mounted on the rear section of the vehicle. To cite just one example, this can be used for carrying equipment for recovering other vehicles. The new equipment has already demonstrated its effectiveness during deployed operations.

This contract confirms the emergence of a new standard for modern armoured recovery vehicles. As recently as December 2018, the Bundeswehr contracted with Rheinmetall to modernize its fleet of Bergepanzer 3 vehicles, ensuring they remain a match for current and future operational scenarios. Similar mission configurations are in service with the armed forces of NATO member Canada as well as Sweden.

Already underway, the service life extension of the Royal Netherlands Army’s armoured recovery vehicles underscores once again Rheinmetall’s comprehensive expertise when it comes to the globe-spanning Leopard 2 family. This expertise extends from maintenance and modernization programmes to advanced armament concepts, and from the production and technical knowledge of the system’s original equipment manufacturer right through to comprehensive technical and logistic support for entire vehicle fleets – including service support during deployed operations. The portfolio of the Düsseldorf-based high-tech group for mobility and security also includes training and simulation solutions for Leopard 2 crews.

Nikola Reckless

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

SOFWERX partnered with Nikola, Planck, Profense and AimLock to create the Nikola Reckless. This technology is a weaponized, remotely piloted vehicle for exploration of man-machine teaming.

The Reckless goes from 0-60 MPH in four seconds flat thanks to its four independant electric motors which directly drive each wheel. This also means it will still get you or your payload there, even if one motor is damaged. Additionally, it has a low thermal signature thanks to its refrigerant cooling system.

Marine Corps Plans to Replace LAV with New, ‘Transformational’ ARV

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019


The Marine Corps plans to begin replacing its legacy Light Armored Vehicle with a modern Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle late in the next decade.

The ARV will be highly mobile, networked, transportable, protected and lethal. The capability will provide, sensors, communication systems and lethality options to overmatch threats that have historically been addressed with more heavily armored systems.

“The ARV will be an advanced combat vehicle system, capable of fighting for information that balances competing capability demands to sense, shoot, move, communicate and remain transportable as part of the naval expeditionary force,” said John “Steve” Myers, program manager for MCSC’s LAV portfolio.

Since the 1980s, the LAV has supported Marine Air-Ground Task Force missions on the battlefield. While the LAV remains operationally effective, the life cycle of this system is set to expire in the mid-2030s. The Corps aims to replace the vehicle before then.

Marine Corps Systems Command has been tasked with replacing the vehicle with a next-generation, more capable ground combat vehicle system. In June 2016, the Corps established an LAV Way-Ahead, which included the option to initiate an LAV Replacement Program to field a next-generation capability in the 2030s.

Preliminary planning, successful resourcing in the program objectives memorandum and the creation of an Office of Naval Research science and technology program have set the conditions to begin replacing the legacy LAV with the ARV in the late-2020s.

“The Marine Corps is examining different threats,” said Kimberly Bowen, deputy program manager of Light Armored Vehicles. “The ARV helps the Corps maintain an overmatched peer-to-peer capability.”

The Office of Naval Research has begun researching advanced technologies to inform requirements, technology readiness assessments and competitive prototyping efforts for the next-generation ARV.

The office is amid a science and technology phase that allows them to conduct advanced technology research and development, modeling and simulation, whole system trade studies and a full-scale technology demonstrator fabrication and evaluation.

These efforts will inform the requirements development process, jump-start industry and reduce risk in the acquisition program.

The office is also supporting the Ground Combat Element Division of the Capabilities Development Directorate by performing a trade study through the U.S. Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center in Michigan. This work will help to ensure ARV requirements are feasible and to highlight the capability trade space.

ONR has partnered with industry to build two technology demonstrator vehicles for evaluation. The first is a base platform that will comprise current, state-of-the-art technologies and standard weapons systems designed around a notional price point. The second is an “at-the-edge” vehicle that demonstrates advanced capabilities.

“The purpose of those vehicles is to understand the technology and the trades,” said Myers.

In support of acquisition activities, PM LAV anticipates the release of an acquisition program Request for Information in May 2019 and an Industry Day later in the year to support a competitive prototyping effort. The Corps expects a Material Development Decision before fiscal year 2020.

“We will take what we’ve learned in competitive prototyping,” said Myers. “Prior to a Milestone B decision, we’ll be working to inform trade space, inform requirements and reduce risk.”

The Corps believes the ARV will support the capability demands of the next generation of armored reconnaissance.

“This vehicle will equip the Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion within the Marine Divisions to perform combined arms, all-weather, sustained reconnaissance and security missions in support of the ground combat element,” said Myers. “It’s expected to be a transformational capability for the Marine Corps.”

Story by Matt Gonzales, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command

Photo by photo by Cpl Codey Underwood, USMC

Two More NATO Member States Procure Rheinmetall’s Fast-acting ROSY Smoke/Obscurant System

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Two NATO member nations have opted to purchase Rheinmetall’s ROSY rapid smoke/obscurant system for protecting their vehicle families. This versatile modular system thus continues to expand its presence in the global force protection market. The two orders are worth several million euros.

Delivery of 126 systems to Spanish defence contractor URO Vehículos Especiales S.A. (UROVESA) is set to begin in April 2019. UROVESA will be installing these systems in 126 out of 139 VAMTAC protected patrol vehicles purchased by the Portuguese armed forces in July 2018 via the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, or NSPA. Delivery of the systems will be complete in March 2020.

Pre-series delivery in response to another order begins in May 2019, this time from Belgium. Here, Rheinmetall is acting as subcontractor for the British company Jankel, which is supplying the Belgian Army with the Light Troop Transport Vehicle, or LTTV. All 199 of the vehicles are being prepared for integration of the system, in addition to the supply of control units and launchers for 167 vehicles. Series production commences in February 2020 and will be complete the same year.

These two orders mean that ROSY will soon be in service in no fewer than eleven countries. ROSY provides protection from surprise attacks by creating a wall of smoke/obscurant that renders vehicles invisible to the enemy. Unlike conventional smoke/obscurant systems, it not only produces an instantaneous, extensive, multispectral interruption in the line of sight, but also generates a dynamic smoke screen that provides moving assets with long-lasting protection.

Assuring 360° protection, the system’s multi-mission capability offers a strong defence against multiple assaults, including stream and wave attacks. Thanks to effective screening measures in the visual and infrared spectrum, including integrated IR jamming and decoying effects, ROSY reliably wards off all TV-, EO-, IR-, IIR-, laser- and SACLOS-guided weapons.

ROSY is available in a number of different versions. Fundamentally suitable for vehicles of all types, ROSY_L encompasses a basic system consisting of one control unit per vehicle as well as one to four launchers which, depending on the model, can hold two or three magazines each. The modular variant ROSY_Mod lends itself to small weapon stations and small vehicles of the kind used by special forces, for example. ROSY_Mod can be directly and invisibly integrated into the vehicle without a launcher. ROSY_N was specially developed to provide small naval and coast guard vessels with effective protection.

Polaris Brings Fire and Rescue RANGER, PRO XD, GEM and Taylor-Dunn Vehicles to FDIC

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Right-sized vehicles deliver on- and off-road, in- and outdoor, gas, diesel and electric options


Minneapolis, April 8, 2019 – Polaris Government and Defense has expanded its current offering of the popular off-road and over-the-curb RANGER fire and rescue vehicles to include the street-legal GEM and indoor-use Taylor-Dunn electric vehicles. These three vehicles will be on display at FDIC International April 11-13 in Lucas Oil® Stadium, Indianapolis in booth 8229 and the PRO XD will be displayed by Darley Defense. The turn-key vehicles can improve response time and reach without compromising mobility, budget or effectiveness.


“Fire and rescue personnel require extensive reach to be effective, and these mobility solutions are designed to expand that reach to help improve response time both urban and off-road, indoors and out – where cars, trucks or helicopters cannot operate,” said Jed Leonard, vice president, Polaris Government and Defense.

The Polaris RANGER is integral for fire departments across the country and has been since its introduction in 1998. RANGER helps to improve response time and reach to challenging locations, including narrow passage ways and secluded lots, as well as rugged, off-road trails, beaches, and park terrain. The vehicle’s excellent sightlines and mobility also make it ideal for city events and heavily populated areas. RANGER is also budget friendly when compared to full-size vehicles because it is less expensive to purchase, operate, and maintain.


The RANGER firefighting units are Polaris’ off-road and over-the-curb solution, incorporating a professional system that is familiar, having been developed with years of firefighter input by RKO™ Enterprises. This RANGER incorporates a capable pump, hose and reel, a combination tank for water and a compressed air foam suppression system, and the ability draft from a water source. Mounting options can accommodate preferences for different departments and uses.

Rescue RANGER vehicles incorporate a rear attendant seat and a stokes rescue basket. Rescue personnel can select between the full-length or compact basket for shorter overall length when not in use. Polaris is also providing a combination fire and rescue package, which includes the fire tank and equipment as well as the stokes rescue basket.


The Taylor-Dunn Bigfoot is Polaris’ all-electric solution for indoor and closed campus use with an ergonomic design, narrow width, and tight turning radius. The fire and rescue Bigfoot options include non-marking tires, rescue skid, attendant seat, emergency lighting, AED and medical bag storage areas, siren, and firefighting equipment.


The GEM eL XD is Polaris’ all-electric street-legal fire and rescue vehicle. GEM is the first commercially produced, street-legal, low-speed vehicle in the U.S. providing a sustainable and economical option for fire and rescue personnel – GEM vehicles have zero emissions and low operating costs. The fire and rescue GEM has a full gurney, attendant seat, oxygen bottle bracket, two IV bag clips, optional AED and medical bag storage.


The PRO XD is Polaris’ diesel utility task vehicle (UTV) and will be on display in the Darley Defense booth at FDIC. The vehicle was designed for the sole purpose of work, with an increased payload, greater durability and better serviceability. It is highly customizable, including the ability to incorporate fire and rescue equipment.

Each of the vehicles maintain the option for the rear equipment skids to be removed all together for use by other departments or jobs from public works, to parades. Custom graphics can be added so vehicles match the rest of the fleet.


Industry expert RKO™ Enterprises develops the skids and integrates the equipment to provide the best, finished vehicles for our customers. Reliability and peace of mind of these products is delivered by Polaris through validation, procurement, and support. RKO™ shares our commitment to quality selecting proven components known for durability and performance, and quality installation for a vehicle we all stand behind.


Polaris fire and rescue RANGER, PRO XD, GEM and Taylor-Dunn vehicles are available for government discount pricing. Customers can contact the Polaris Government and Defense team for more information, or to request a quote.


Polaris is a unique vehicle supplier that harnesses its 65-year legacy of mobility leadership, rich heritage of innovation, and vast commercial enterprise resources, along with a team of dedicated government, defense, and technology experts and operators to deliver the products that customers need to get their missions done. This winning combination of Polaris performance, procurement simplicity, premium service, training, support, and sustainment results in a best-value for government and defense customers.

NETT Marines Bridging the Gap Between the Past and Future of Amphibious Combat

Monday, April 8th, 2019


At its core, any Marine Corps New Equipment Training Team is responsible for-as the name suggests-arming Marines with the knowledge and skills they need to operate and maintain new equipment to ensure Marines’ future success on the battlefield. When new equipment is fielded, the NETT provide the initial training to experienced legacy system operators and maintainers to help get them acquainted with the new system in the shortest time possible.  

When the new system is the Amphibious Combat Vehicle-game-changing not only in the amphibious capabilities it provides to Marines, but also in that it’s replacing a nearly 50-year-old legacy system-the NETT are in a unique position to bridge the gap between the past and future of amphibious combat in the Corps. Currently, most new equipment training teams are comprised of civilian subject matter experts from Industry, the ACV NETT is comprised primarily of amphibious assault Marines who are able to apply their experience and expertise in operating and maintaining the legacy vehicle to operating and maintaining the new one.

“It’s pretty much 100 percent preparation for the next evolution,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Wheeler, lead operational instructor on the NETT, of his team’s role. “All of us here on the NETT have years of experience operating the legacy [Assault Amphibious Vehicle]. I think that our collective experience and influence is important, especially in informing the future of our community. That’s our number one job.”

Though the NETT falls under the Virginia-based Advanced Amphibious Assault program office at Program Executive Officer Land Systems, the office responsible for acquiring and fielding the system, the team itself is housed at the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch at Camp Pendleton, Calif., maximizing the team’s ability to spend time on and become proficient with operating and maintaining the vehicle.

To aid Marines’ transition from the legacy to the new platform, the NETT faces the challenge of infusing old practices into new Standard Operating Procedures and Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for the ACV.

“During the operational assessment, we realized that some of the tactics we’re used to with the AAV don’t work with the ACV,” said Wheeler. “We’re taking into account our old doctrine with the AAV, and seeing how some of those tactics, TTPs and SOPs can translate to the ACV [to make the transition easier for Marines].”

On the vehicular maintenance side, NETT Marines also help design the maintenance course. Currently, the team is busy helping the program office prepare for a four-month logistics demonstration-a comprehensive event evaluating the maintainability and sustainability of the vehicle-scheduled for this fall.

“One of the ways we’re verifying the Technical Manual for the ACV is by having the maintenance team complete over 1,400 maintenance tasks using the TM as a guide,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Hanush, maintenance lead instructor for the ACV. “This will help us when preparing the maintenance course. Ultimately, we want to ensure that Marines are successful when the vehicle hits the fleet.”

While the NETT’s main role is training Marines on maintaining and operating the ACV, the team also licenses drivers and, as operators of the vehicle, are integral participants in the rigorous operational, logistical and evaluative vehicle tests initiated by PM AAA. Having experienced amphibious assault Marines on the NETT has been extremely beneficial to the program office, particularly during operational assessments and testing.

“The Marines have assisted us greatly with understanding how the amphibious community operates, especially on water,” said James Aurilio, Manpower, Personnel and Training lead for PM AAA. “Operating a land vehicle in water is a unique experience, and they brought that experience with them. There’s a lot about doing that that, those of us who don’t do it would never understand or wouldn’t think to ask [during testing]. They’ve been stellar and have helped us out a lot.”

The NETT will start training Marines from Delta Company, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, in January 2020. Delta Company will be the first amphibious assault crews to be trained on the new vehicle. Upon completion of training, the NETT will help guide the Delta Company Marines as they participate in tests assessing the effectiveness of the first set of low-rate initial production ACVs. PM AAA anticipates receiving the first set of low-rate production vehicles this summer.

By Ashley Calingo, PEO Land Systems Public Affairs| Marine Corps Systems Command