The Marine Corps has announced the first all-terrain vehicle, designed specifically for infantry Marines.
One of the more impressive features of this four-seat utility transport vehicle is that it fits onto the MV-22B Osprey, so it can go into the field with infantry units.
This is critical, the Corps says, because Marines can use Ospreys to launch a unit “more than 100 miles from shore to avoid enemy cruise missiles and other defenses that can destroy ships and landing craft.”
The Marines are calling them Utility Tactical Vehicles (UTV) but the new vehicles are really militarized versions of the MRZR, a rugged all-terrain vehicle built by Polaris.
Marine officials say that expeditionary units and Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Forces will use the all-terrain vehicles when deploying in harsh environments. Forward deployed infantry Marines have had to carry all of their gear on their backs while operating in remote locations, until now.
Marine spokesman Emanuel “Manny” Pacheco told Marine Corps Times that the service plans to field 144 utility task vehicles to infantry regiments between February and April 2017.
“The vehicle will provide logistics support to ground combat units that are operating independently across dispersed areas, while conducting distributed helicopter-borne and tilt-rotor operations,” he said.
Each infantry regiment will have 18 of the four-seat vehicles, which can be driven by a single Marine, carry several days’ worth of supplies and evacuate the wounded, among other very difficult tasks.
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