Wheeled Vehicles


The John Deere Military Gator (M-Gator) is a commercial off-the-shelf, small tactical/utility vehicle. Based on an Army requirement, the diesel (and JP8) powered M-Gator provides a highly mobile, air drop and sling-certified platform that can be easily transported in both fixed- and rotary-wing cargo aircraft (including the V-22 Osprey). The M-Gator has been extensively tested by and fielded to the Army Special Operations Command and the Air Force and has established a proven track record as a force multiplier in Operation Enduring Freedom.

With an optimized payload-to-weight ratio of 1,400 pounds/1,450 pounds, M-Gator provides an immediate and affordable advantage to military and quasi-military operations where the size of larger tactical vehicles could result in a strategic compromise. Following the purchase of a small number of prototypes between November 1996 and August 2000, M-Gator began entering the Army inventory in significant numbers in August 2000. There are approximately 700 M-Gators fielded with the XVIII Airborne Corps with additional quantities in use by elements of Army Special Operations Command.

Another new addition at the small end of the Army's wheeled vehicle inventory is the Polaris Sniper Vehicle. The system, which is used by Army Special Forces and is being studied for fielding to the Stryker brigades, is based on the Polaris Sportsman 700-series all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

With a four-cycle, twin-cylinder, 683-cc engine, the vehicle is 87 inches long, 47.5 inches wide and 50 inches high. Its dry weight is 940 pounds and the platform has a 200-pound front rack load capacity, a 400-pound rear rack load capacity and a 1,225-pound towing capacity.

The ATV helps deploy Stryker sniper teams and Army Special Forces elements in extremely rugged terrain.

The ubiquitous High-Mobility, Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee) provides a common, light tactical vehicle capability. In Army inventories, the Humvee has replaced the quarter-ton jeep, M718A1 ambulance, half-ton Mule, 1.25-ton Gamma Goat and M792 ambulance.

Originally fielded in 1985, the Humvee is produced in several configurations to support weapon systems, command and control systems and field ambulances and to provide ammunition, troop and general cargo transport. It is equipped with a high-performance diesel engine, automatic transmission and four-wheel drive, is air transportable and can be dropped from a variety of aircraft. The Humvee can be equipped with a self-recovery hydraulic winch capable of up to 10,500-pound 1:1 ratio line pull capacity, and it can support payloads from 2,300 to 5,100 pounds (including crew and pintle loads), depending on the model.

The Al model, which entered production in 1994, introduced a reinforced frame, cross members, lifting shackles, heavy-duty rear springs, shocks, reinforced control arms, heavy-duty tires and rims, and a high-ratio transfer and differential.

The subsequent introduction of the A2 configuration brought with it a new 6.5-liter, naturally aspirated diesel engine; an electronically controlled, four-speed automatic transmission; and a redesigned emissions system that met 1995 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Other features focused on user comfort, vehicle maintainability and performance. The design can accept a central tire inflation system (CTIS) as a field-installed item.

Further expansion of Humvee payload capacity has led to the development and introduction of the M1114 up-armor (UA) configuration that protects the crew from small-arms fire and mines. The UA vehicle provides complete crew protection for the driver and three crew members from 7.62 mm NATO armor-piercing rounds, fragmentation protection from artillery shells and underbody protection from up to 12 pounds (front) and four pounds (rear) antipersonnel/antitank mines. It has a rooftop weapon station to accommodate the M60 machine gun, M2 machine gun, Mk 19 grenade launcher and the M82A1 .

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