Want to Drive a Ford Ranger or Toyota Hilux? Better Talk to Uncle Sam
The global Ford Ranger, along with the Toyota Hilux and Land Cruiser 76 and 79 models aren’t available in the U.S. thanks to safety and emissions regulations. However, the U.S. Military has secured a contract with an Ohio-based company to upfit 396 of the trucks and SUVs with armor and communication equipment for duty in regions where the vehicles are commonly found.
It’s the perfect form of camouflage, actually. The enemy is far less likely to spot a Land Cruiser than a Humvee or MRAP.
The contract is between the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida and the Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio. The five-year contract is worth $170 million for as many as 556 vehicles. According to Military Aerospace, 396 of the vehicles will be armored with the remaining 160 vehicles retaining their OEM looks.
Battelle will add various levels of crew protection like armor, along with stronger suspension and braking systems, frame and body reinforcements, and run-flat tires on special wheels that can withstand small arms fire. Infrared lighting for blackout mode will be included, along with C4ISR equipment, otherwise known as command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment. These upfitted vehicles will mostly consist of the Land Cruiser.
It will be a while before these vehicles see combat, however. Battelle will need time for developing the specialized add-ons for these specific vehicles. The prototypes then have to pass the military’s grueling evaluation process and qualification testing. At that time, the government may issue delivery orders for production. Yep, none of this is set in concrete. Battelle expects to have the contract finished by 2023.
Continue reading for more information.
The U.S. Military has just awarded a contract to Oshkosh Defense for its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, called the L-ATV as a replacement for the aging Humvee. The L-ATV, or Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle, will be slowly deployed over the next eight years, with approximately 17,000 units slated for production.
The $6.7 billion contract covers both variants of the L-ATV – a two seat base platform and a four-seater that comes as either the general purpose vehicle or the Close Combat Weapons Carrier. A companion trailer is also included.
The L-ATV is powered by General Motors’ 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 and is backed by an Allison six-speed automatic transmission. Though the powertrain is outsourced, the L-ATV rides on Oshkosh’s proprietary TAK-4i independent suspension system that is said to provide 20 inches of wheel travel with generous cargo capacity and unmatched off-road abilities. In fact, an early version became the first military vehicle to complete the Baja 1000, competing in the 2010 races.
Oshkosh beat out big names like AM General and Lockheed Martin in winning the contract. Not only will Oshkosh supply the L-ATV, but it will continue to supply parts and services for decades to come.
While the L-ATV nearly twice the size of the current Humvee, it still fits in a Lockheed C-130 airplane, along with other military transport vehicles. Air-lift hooks protruding from its hood and rear bumper allow for helicopter transport, despite its 14,000-pound curb weight.
Oshkosh will begin delivering L-ATVs in roughly 10 month’s time.
Continue reading for more info on the Oshkosh JLTV.
Bremach is an Italian company which is around since 1950. The company was initially only a small mechanical workshop, but after twenty years has started to build off road utility vehicles.
At the moment, the Italian manufacture is selling a badass heavy duty truck which received the name of the ultimate predator that has ever lived on the planet Earth, namely the T-Rex.
As the name suggest, the Bremach T-Rex is an unstoppable truck designed to go head to head with the most difficult terrains without breaking a sweat.
The vehicle is mostly sold in Europe, Africa, and Latin America and is offered in a wide range of engines that include natural gas, diesel, gasoline and also electric versions. Moreover, in the near future, there will also be offered a propane powered vehicle. Fortunately the truck will be also available on the North American market with a choice of GM and Cummins engines.
The truck is available in single and double cab configurations and also in two door convertible.
All of these powertrain options are available in a two- or four-door hardtop or a two-door convertible.
The T 810 is a cab over engine medium duty truck with a highly versatile character. Thanks to its wide range of versions, the Tatra T810 can be used for various applications and makes duties even in war zones as a military vehicle. Tatra designers combined a ladder frame with rigid portal axles to offer the truck a very high ground clearance which gives it capable off road abilities.
The vehicle is offered with two wheelbase lengths and a three-point superstructure mounting system which is combined with gross vehicle weights of up to 27.5 tonnes. Thanks to its versatile nature and the generous payload capacity, the Tatra T 810 also offers the possibility to be equipped with special superstructures or various bodies.
While there are a lot of vehicles that claim to be the best off-roader, there is only one which truly deserves this distinction.
With GVWs (gross vehicle weights) between 7,5 – 14, 1 tonnes, the Mercedes Benz Unimog is the ultimate off roader and was build from the ground up to never back down regardless of the working conditions.
Built on the strong base of the legendary Unimog, the 3000-5000 series are the biggest Unimogs ever built and are offered with a choice of two cab configuration and two Euro 5 engines which develop 177 hp and 218 hp.
TheMercedes Benz Unimog is around for some time now, as it tackles the harshest working conditions since the Second World War. The Unimog is an iconic off roader which has built itself a very strong reputation being one of the most appreciated vehicles in its class.
The Unimog is the smaller brother of the Zetros and is offered in a wide range of versions with different engines and wheelbases. There are two Unimog families available the Unimog 300 - 500 and the Unimog 3000- 5000.
The Unimog 300, 400 and 500 range covers permissible gross vehicle weights from 7.5 t to 16 t, each model coming with a choice of two wheelbase lengths and two engine outputs.
The Unimog 300-500 are offered with a choice of four- and six-cylinder in-line engines from the OM 904 LA and OM 906 LA series.
Mercedes is well known for its nice luxury cars that can move you in full comfort from point A to point B. Everyone likes these cars, as they are like small oases of luxury and make you feel relaxed and safe wherever you are.
The German manufacturer however, has also a darker side. This time the intelligence of its engineers was put to work with the main purpose of constructing the ultimate heavy duty work truck. The result was the Zetros which is the toughest truck built by the company. The vehicle has a bullet proof build quality and it’s so tough, that even if you’ll drive it in the middle of a war zone it will feel just like a walk in the park.
The Mercedes Zetros is available in all-wheel drive, two-axle models with a gross vehicle weight of 16.5 or 18.0 tonnes, as well as three-axle vehicles with a maximum of 25.0 or 27.0 tonnes. The payload for the two-axle models is almost ten tonnes, while for the three-axle models it is 16 tonnes (excluding body weight).
BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and Meritor Defense have been working on a military project dubbed the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program in an attempt to manufacture a lightweight vehicle that the U.S. armed forces can use anywhere in the world. This project had yet to be officially proposed, as its equipment was still in the developmental phase, but as of today, testing is over and the proposal is to be submitted.
You may be wondering “what does this have to do with production cars?” The driving force of this new military device, which is ultimately the replacement for the Humvee, is shared with one of the best-selling pickups of all time, the Ford F-Series SuperDuty. Yup, this large-caliber-gun-toting machine will come fitted with Ford’s now famous 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine.
The exact specifics of the engine have not been released, so we are not certain if this will be the same 6.7-liter you would see under the hood of a 2012 F-250 SuperDuty. Unfortunately, that will likely never be known, but we do know that the Power Stroke engine is up to the task, pumping out an impressive 400 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 800 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm.
This will likely end up similar to the Allison military transmissions vs. civilian models deal. The Power Stroke’s basic technology will remain the same, but the engine will be highly modified for combat usage. If the military accepts this design as one of the three it will select, this could mean that the Power Stroke could see much advancement in upcoming years, as the military tinkers with the engine and Ford mimics the modifications. This also means that we are in for a slew of “Ford’s so good, we power military vehicles” styles of commercials, oh boy.
On a semi-ironic aside to this announcement, Ford was once a part of the JLTV program, but dropped out earlier. We guess there are no hard feelings between Ford and BAE.
Hit the jump for the official press release.