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Archive for the ‘Mobility’ Category

Polaris Expands Military Capabilities with All-New Breed of Light Tactical Vehicle

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

The MRZR Alpha provides superior off-road maneuverability and performance


Minneapolis – September 1, 2020 – Agile, compact and full of power, the MRZR Alpha is the newest light tactical vehicle from Polaris Government and Defense, the largest ultralight tactical vehicle provider for the U.S. military, and a division of global powersports leader Polaris Inc. (NYSE: PII). The MRZR Alpha is Polaris’ 11th military vehicle produced in 12 years and it represents the insertion of cutting-edge off-road vehicle technology for ultimate tactical mobility – derived from research and development investments that keep Polaris in front of the highly competitive off-road vehicle market.

Developed for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), the MRZR Alpha supports requirements for a longer life-cycle while increasing performance and payload and maintaining internal air transportability. The MRZR Alpha is currently under General Services Administration (GSA) contract through the Light Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (LTATV) program, which has a value of up to $109 million and was awarded on May 29, 2020.

“By following the demanding requirements and feedback from U.S. Special Operations Forces, we’ve created the highest performing MRZR yet – and in the process, established an all-new breed of vehicle that is still internally transportable via V-22 in a more capable package to ensure mission success,” said Nick Francis, director, Polaris Defense. “The MRZR Alpha is powerful and flexible enough for expanded missions, provides more durability to meet an extended life-cycle and is agile in off-road environments to best support operators, yet compact and lightweight for tactical air transport.”

The MRZR’s light weight and off-road capabilities make it ideal for transport via helicopter and operation in terrain that would otherwise be traversed on foot. Since their introduction, MRZRs have been outfitted with counter unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS), direct-fire weapons, high-energy laser systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, tactical aviation ground refueling systems, expeditionary command and control systems, autonomy packages, litters for casualty evacuation and communication equipment. First introduced in 2012, Polaris has continued to enhance the MRZR platform to meet the mission demands of the U.S. military, and over 40 allied forces worldwide – and the MRZR Alpha ups the ante once again.

Beyond infantry support, the MRZR Alpha’s enhanced system design and payload capacity expand its possible mission roles to include indirect fire weapons, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) systems, network-on-the-move, logistics and missile launch. The MRZR Alpha retains a 1500 lb towing capacity common in the MRZR family, as well as blackout mode and a two-litter capacity. The MRZR Alpha comes in a two and four-seat option, like its predecessors, and now a mission kit provides ROPS for two additional rear-facing seats.

A new chassis provides a larger and more durable foundation for the latest MRZR, which is powered by a high-performance 8-speed automotive transmission and a powerful, yet quiet, 4-stroke, 118 hp turbo-diesel engine. This provides 200 ft-lbs of efficient torque that, when combined with a selectable locker for the 2WD/4WD drive system, delivers superior off-road maneuverability and handling in the most demanding environments, including deep sand. In the cab, there is increased exportable power, more cab space and a greater configurability.

The payload for the MRZR Alpha two and four-seat variants increases to 1400 and 2000 lbs, respectively, and the range at gross-vehicle weight (GVW) increases to 225 miles for expanded mission flexibility. It is heavy-fuel compatible – including DF1, DF2, JP8 and F24 – and can achieve a top speed of over 60 mph to support convoy operations. An expanded off-road profile is made possible with 12 inches of ground clearance at full GVW, high clearance dual A-arm front and rear suspension with payload leveling, and 32-inch, high mobility run-flat tires with bead-lock rims.

The MRZR Alpha can be internally transported by V-22, H-47 and larger aircraft by leveraging toolless ROPS and spare tire stowage. External transportation includes H-60 and larger rotary wing lift assets. Robust tie down and lifting provisions also allow for LVAD, JPADS and HSL certifications.

Like all Polaris military platforms, the new MRZR Alpha continues a legacy of light tactical military vehicles that are intuitive to operate, easy to maintain, and easy to globally support within an existing worldwide infrastructure of parts distribution and dealer service networks. With the MRZR Alpha, maintenance is simplified through an On-Board Diagnostics interface (OBD-II) for real-time feedback on the status of the vehicle subsystems and a pinpoint diagnostics manual. On board vehicle systems support future condition-based maintenance and guided diagnostics.

Polaris will support the MRZR Alpha worldwide as a global company with over 3,500 dealers and products sold to 120 countries. Polaris has been supplying traditional technical and parts manuals along with in-person training to the military for years – and leveraging corporate resources, Polaris can also offer new training opportunities to the military. Best-in-class online training videos, app-based technologies and computer aided modeling within electronic technical manuals are currently offered to Polaris’ dealers and can be easily adapted to train today’s military technician.

Dedicated Military Field Service Representatives (FSRs) have been teaching operator and maintainer training courses for more than 12 years to the U.S. and its allies. Polaris also provides world-class parts distribution – an established inventory management system allows for proactive management of parts inventory, minimizes lead time for parts and reduces the logistics for supply chain planning and management.

Throughout the 1980s and 90s, the United States military’s rising demand for Polaris off-road vehicles led to Polaris being the first ATV OEM to produce militarized vehicles for U.S. Special Operations Forces and the United States Army. To better serve its military customers, Polaris established Polaris Defense in 2005. Today, Polaris offers full program management and logistics support to manage traditional programs of record for domestic and international customers. Polaris designs, engineers and produces its MV850 ATV, MRZR and DAGOR military vehicles in the U.S.

Robotic Combat Vehicles Display Next-Gen Features in Live-Fire Exercises

Friday, August 14th, 2020

FORT CARSON, Colo. — The Army’s collection of armed robotic combat vehicles showcased an “exceptional” ability to identify enemy positions after about a month of testing, but more development is still needed to improve battlefield precision, said Brig. Gen. Richard Coffman.

Coffman, director of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team, praised the capabilities of the four robotic combat vehicles, or RCVs, during the platoon live-fire exercises here.

Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division used two modified Bradley Fighting Vehicles, called Mission Enabling Technologies-Demonstrators, or MET-Ds, to control and maneuver the RCVs to determine whether the autonomous vehicles increased the lethality and efficiency of ground units.

“The ability [to spot enemies] was exceptional, because that reduces the risk on our Soldiers and allows us to remain in a covered and concealed position and make decisions,” Coffman said during a media conference call Thursday.

The MET-Ds, which are manned with six Soldiers, have 360-degree situational awareness cameras, a remote turret with a 25 mm main gun, and enhanced crew stations with touchscreens. The RCVs are M113 surrogate platforms that also have 360 cameras and fire 7.62 mm machine guns.

From inside the MET-Ds, Soldiers were able to control the RCVs up to a 2,000-meter range, but struggled to extend that distance in dense forest regions, Coffman said.

Developers plan to add more features to the vehicles in Phase II of testing, including a new radio tether to increase the operating range, an unmanned aerial vehicle and a target recognition capability based on synthetic data. Phase II, which is scheduled for the first quarter of fiscal year 2022 at Fort Hood, Texas, will feature three platoons of robotic vehicle with control vehicles.

“This is about commanders on the battlefield and giving them more decision space and reducing the risk on our men and women,” Coffman said. “We go into the nastiest places on earth. And these robots are absolutely going to do that in the future. We’re not there 100% yet.”

A third party will evaluate the technical and tactical performance of the operating crews and robotic vehicles, as well as the overall success of the experiment. The findings will then be briefed to the service’s senior leaders.

After the evaluation of Phase II’s results, Coffman said the Army will decide whether to continue testing.

Room for improvement

Soldiers testing the autonomous vehicles noted that greater sensory capabilities must be developed for the controlled vehicles to serve as unmanned replacements.

“Right now we don’t have sensors that can tell whether we’re coming across a little puddle that we can just drive through or whether that puddle is 8 feet deep and going to bog us down,” said Jeffrey Langhout, director of the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Ground Vehicle System Center. “A robot can navigate its own way and it relies on the sensors that it has to keep from driving into ditches and all kinds of problems. We certainly have a long way to go on that.”

Sgt. Matthew Morris, assigned to 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th ID, said the lack of downward visibility hindered operation of the RCVs. He said the vehicle’s ability to see down steep terrain must improve to prevent the vehicle from overturning.

When a human drives a vehicle into soft sand they instinctively know to shift to a lower driving gear and the RCVs must develop that sensitivity, Coffman said.

“For me specifically, I think that the ability to see downward once we approach certain inclines and declines would probably be an astute upgrade that would push us forward in the right direction,” Morris said, adding the vehicles must increase its audio signature to increase communication abilities with crew members.

Vehicle operator Sgt. Scott Conklin, who is also with 3rd ABCT, said that the two-person crew could handle the increased workload, but the frenetic pace of operating with the 360 cameras made the RCVs challenging to operate.

Coffman said regardless of how the program evolves, he said humans will retain a level of autonomy over the robotic combat vehicles.

“We don’t want a fully autonomous vehicle,” he said. “We don’t want the machine deciding. We want very specific rules of what that machine will and will not do. The humans are in charge.”

By Joseph Lacdan, Army News Service

Fieldcraft Mobility To Offer Tactical Horsemanship Course

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

Fieldcraft Mobility will be offering a tactical horsemanship course starting in October.

This will be a basic riding program in the first phase of Fieldcraft Mobility’s new mounted mobility section. This course includes basic horsemanship and riding as well as tactical movement considerations. It combines lessons learned from modern mounted combat operations, TTPs, and backcountry riding techniques to give students the ability to utilize an effective non-standard mobility platforms in a bug out scenario.

Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles Produced by Blackwater for Sale by Bulletproof IT

Sunday, August 9th, 2020

I recently found out that BULLETPROOF IT, LLC was selling MRAPs. That alone is interesting, but what really caught my attention is that the MRAPs in question were built by Blackwater Manufacturing. From 2007-2009, I worked on that program as the head of Test & Evaluation. I shot, blew up and drove Grizzlies in all sorts of environments. There’s a bit of me in those trucks. This graphic shows the evolution of the trucks.

BULLETPROOF IT, LLC a Service Disabled Veteran owned and operated business has 10 Blackwater Grizzly Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) for sale. The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) is a 22 ton Armored Infantry Mobility Vehicle designed and built for the U.S. Military and DOD contractors destined for Iraq and other high conflict hostile territories.

The Armored exterior is as aggressive as they come! The Ballistic walls can withstand .50-caliber rounds for perfect protection against high caliber ambushes, while the fully reinforced belly and enclosed drivetrain are protected against improvised explosive device (IED) blasts. In addition to the armor, it has more doors, gun ports, hooks, compartments, outlets, and lighting than most civilians’ vehicles on the road. The roof has duel turrets capable of accepting mounted machine guns.

The Armored Vehicles are street legal and can cruise on the highway at 65 to 70 MPH. Each equipped with the proven caterpillar diesel engine. The Armored Vehicles were built in 2007 and 2008. Essentially these vehicles are brand new and most of them with less than 800 miles on them, some as low as 77 miles on them. BULLETPROOF IT, LLC has 4×4 and 6×6 wheeled (APC’s) available.

Features are listed below.

• Automatic push button Allison transmission
• Single rear axle
• Seagrave glider chassis
• 4×4
• Air brakes
• Some have rear electric door
• Front right window hatch

• 22 ton .50 caliber bulletproof exterior
• Front mount Ramsey winch
• All terrain run flat tires
• High intensity exterior lighting
• Storage compartments

• Caterpillar diesel engines
• Allison automatic transmission
• 4×4 configuration
• Seagrave glider extreme duty chassis

• Dual zone a/c
• Roof hatch access
• Day/night vision camera
• Multiple seating configuration
• Blackout lights

For pricing and availability please email our MRAP Sales Manager Josh Malcom at [email protected] or feel free to give him a call 360-771-2657.

For more information and pictures, please follow the direct link below.

US Army Prototypes Integrated Visual Augmentation System Network Capabilities for Tactical Vehicles

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (July 23, 2020) — Army Futures Command (AFC) is using rapid prototyping to integrate tactical network systems, which will enhance functionality of the Soldier-worn Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), onto combat vehicles.

IVAS provides Soldiers with improved situational awareness capabilities as they fight, train and rehearse missions. IVAS capabilities include a digital display to access information without taking eyes off the battlefield, thermal and low-light sensors, rapid target acquisition, aided target identification and augmented reality.

The Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center — a component of AFC’s Combat Capabilities Development Command — is leading the prototyping efforts, in coordination with IVAS developers and network project management offices. The Center uses its in-house expertise to inform and refine the design, fit and function needed to house and integrate network components, including radios, servers and cables.

The C5ISR Center started design work this spring to integrate IVAS devices with Stryker armored vehicles, leading to Vehicle Excursion 2 (VE2) in January 2021 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team (SL CFT) will host VE 2 with about a dozen participating organizations from Army research and development, acquisition and operational forces. It will be a static vehicle user study focused on assessing the utility and proof of concept of new capabilities on Strykers and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to gain early Soldier feedback.

To enhance IVAS network connectivity and capabilities, C5ISR Center engineers and network system developers engineered a network communications gateway and data management kit known as Project Bloodhound in 2019. The C5ISR Center delivered the integrated network kit mounted on an MRZR all-terrain vehicle, which allowed dismounted Soldiers using IVAS to connect into the broader Army tactical network to share and receive data.

This prototype and others will enhance modernization efforts led by the C5ISR Center, SL CFT, the Network CFT, Program Manager IVAS, and PM Tactical Radios.

Bloodhound allows greater connectivity throughout the company echelon, through a tactical radio integration kit that includes radio gateways that enable voice and data information to be pushed and pulled from multiple sources. This concept is being applied to the Stryker prototype effort.

“We designed Project Bloodhound as a modular vehicle-mounted system that can be integrated into any vehicle,” said C5ISR Center mechanical engineer Ryan Stuk. “Certain features could be employed in a command post or dismounted capacity. We’re now taking the knowledge and expertise gained from the MRZR integration and applying those to Strykers.”

The Stryker effort will provide additional capabilities for Soldiers, whether they are mounted, dismounted or in transition, Stuk said. The Army’s three objectives are to leverage the Strykers as an IVAS power source to maintain mission capability, integrate with existing and future vehicle-based onboard camera systems, and enhance Soldiers’ situational awareness while mounted or transitioning to dismounted.

The Center’s organic, internal prototype integration facility (PIF) has enabled the Army to meets its objectives for multiple design iterations, changing requirements and quick deadlines, said Tom Brutofsky, chief of the C5ISR PIF. A key aspect to Project Bloodhound has been additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing.

“The C5ISR PIF has invested heavily in additive manufacturing to develop a rapid prototyping capability to deliver functional designs with significant cost and time savings,” Brutofsky said. “The PIF manufactured the MRZR Bloodhound prototype approximately 80 percent through additive processes and went from concept to functional prototype in less than three months.

“Additive manufacturing also enables easier modifications as engineers gather Soldier feedback during exercises and as the Army identifies additional vehicles for network kit integration.”

Soldier touch points like VE2 enable the Army to transition from R&D to prototypes and then mature capabilities for fielding.

“For the C5ISR Center, incorporating Soldier feedback is essential,” Brutofsky said. “Understanding the needs of Soldiers on the battlefield early on helps us make better use of time and resources.”

By Dan Lafontaine, CCDC C5ISR Center Public Affairs

Rokon Single Track Trailer

Monday, July 27th, 2020

The Single Track Trailer was designed specifically to complement the Rokon 2×2 motorbike.

The pressure of the single tire can be adjusted to the terrain. It offers 10″ of ground clearance and a capacity of 100 lbs.

The universal joint and narrow construction allow the trailer to go anywhere, right behind the Rokon.

Mack Defense In-Service Support Contract Extended for Canadian Medium Support Vehicle System Program

Saturday, July 18th, 2020

ALLENTOWN, PA (July 13, 2020) – Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has exercised the option to extend Mack Defense’s in-service and support contract for an additional five years from 2020-2025, covering more than 1,500 Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) Standard Military Pattern (SMP) vehicles.

“Mack Defense’s MSVS SMP vehicle systems provide critical capabilities that the Canadian Armed Forces depend on,” said David Hartzell, president, Mack Defense. “We look forward to maximizing the uptime of these vehicles as we continue to provide these support services.”

The contract covers all MSVS SMP vehicles, trailers and armored protection systems, and will enable Mack Defense to provide support services and the provision of spare parts and materials for level one and two maintenance tasks performed by the customer. Equipment requiring in-depth maintenance, such as repair and overhaul activities or warranty repairs, will be handled by a facility in the area of Quebec City, Quebec. Mack Defense will provide support by delivering spare parts to Canadian Forces Depots (CFD) in Edmonton, Alberta and Montreal, Quebec.

Mack Defense was awarded two contracts in 2015 valued at $725 million CAD by the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (now PSPC) on behalf of the Department of National Defense to deliver more than 1,500 8×8 MSVS SMP trucks and to provide in-service support for the fleet. The MSVS SMP is available in a number of variants, including cargo, material handling cranes, load handling systems (LHS) and mobile repair trucks (MRT).

The 1,587th and final MSVS SMP vehicle was delivered in February 2020. The program also delivered 322 trailers and 161 armored protection system cabs.

Mack Defense’s in-service support contract has been extended by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) supporting more than 1,500 Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) Standard Military Pattern (SMP) vehicles.

Mack Defense, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mack Trucks, is responsible for the sale of heavy-duty trucks to federal- and ministerial-level customers globally. For more information, please visit

US Army Selects Kongsberg to Develop Wireless Lethality for its Light and Medium Robotic Combat Vehicles

Monday, July 6th, 2020

Contract continues program maturity, supports future lethality requirements and provides commonality with the U.S. Marine Corps

JOHNSTOWN, PA, July 1, 2020 – The U.S. Army has selected Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace to provide a wireless fire control capability to support its future medium caliber lethality needs for its light and medium Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCV). This decision creates a common architecture across all current robotic lethality fire control for crew-served, medium caliber and anti-tank weapons. In addition to the fire control architectures for both RCV-Light (RCV-L) and RCV-Medium (RCV-M), Kongsberg weapon stations – CROWS J and MCT-30 respectively – have been selected as Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) for the Army’s RCV phase 2 experimentation.

“By overcoming the challenges presented by remote lethality, Kongsberg is paving the way for commonality across a variety of vehicle platforms – manned, optionally manned or unmanned,” said Scott Burk, vice president, Land Systems, Kongsberg Defense. “Beyond lethality and scalability, in conjunction with other Kongsberg medium caliber systems and medium weight systems being delivered, soldiers have the advantage of service-wide commonality. This will have tremendous positive impacts on training, provisioning and sustaining all U.S. Army weapon stations.”

This latest contract for wireless fire-control architecture augments previous awards to Kongsberg for the wireless fire-control architecture for the U.S. Army RCV-L program and the Multi-User, Multi-Station (MUMS) distributed fire-control architecture. The MUMS architecture was developed against a U.S. Marine Corps requirement for “one over many, many over one” control of RWS. The MUMS architecture is currently being applied to all Marine RWS deliveries including systems for the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV).

Kongsberg demonstrated its wireless fire control capability for the RCV-L architecture, firing both a Javelin anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) as well as the weapon station’s 12.7 mm machine gun (.50 M2) from a legacy CROWS M153 mounted on an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). The June 2019 live-fire demonstration was carried out at Redstone Test Center in Alabama. Kongsberg also successfully demonstrated secure transmissions of video and fire-control data including command signals over radio from the weapon station and the missile. Kongsberg will perform a similar U.S. government-sponsored demonstration of the medium caliber wireless capability later this year.

The Kongsberg MCT-30 is the first remotely-operated turret to be qualified and fielded in the United States. The system provides highly accurate firepower for wheeled or tracked combat vehicles and is remotely controlled and operated from a protected position inside the vehicle compartment for optimized crew safety.

Kongsberg is the world’s leading manufacturer of Remote Weapon Stations (RWS), having delivered nearly 20,000 RWS units to more than 20 countries worldwide. Kongsberg is also the sole provider of RWS and remote turrets to the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. All RWS and remote turrets bound for U.S. customers are manufactured in the Kongsberg Johnstown, PA facility. The company takes great pride in its continued support to, and for the United States, U.S. employees, and U.S. supply base.   

For more information, visit