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In mid-December announced the US Marine Corps (USMC) that all Marine Corps Task Utility Vehicles (UTV, based on the Polaris MZRZ) significant product improvements are obtained. This will ensure safety and increasing vehicle efficiency.

Responsible for the program, engineers and logisticians are the Light Tactical Vehicle Program Office at the program executive officer (PEO) Land Systems.

Into consideration the feedback from the USMC users flowed. In addition, it was inspired by desert race civilian automotive industry. Findings that could win the USMC there, then incorporated into the research and tests and are now being implemented in procurement.

Among the multiple improvements include changes to the wishbone, new run-flat tires, underbody protection, a road set, a coupling enhancement set and a weather protection. Jason Engstrom, the senior system engineer for the UTV with PEO Land Systems, said in a message on the official site of the USMC: "We bought the car as a [commercial, COTS] solution, so it is logical that we are not all from the factory get what we want. "Since the launch of UTV in 2017 its use has been continuously expanded and the vehicles were used for purposes that were not included in the original purchase. Due to the use in the inserts new use proposals take place almost every day by the Marines.

product improvements

One of the first measures is the installation of other wishbone, a crucial component of the suspension system. Due to the use of UTV in a variety of terrains, the original Wishbone were often bent. The greatest danger were boulders and stones, and which saw the Marines almost always exposed. A bent or damaged wishbone, a vehicle can override. The new wishbone now consists of a material that is twice as durable as the original. Additional was ground clearance increases cm order. 6

In addition to the control arm in the underbody of the vehicle was almost always affected. Therefore, the vehicles also get a better underbody protection. In tests in Australia have shown that large, thick branches on the ground to set up and can pierce the plastic base plate. This is a security risk, says Engstrom. Then different materials were tested in order to achieve better protection - if possible without extra weight, because every gram more means less payload.

The UTV tires, the Marines from the left off-road racing industry inspired, in which the "Tireballs" were invented a new type of run-flat technology. There are 16 cells in each inflatable tires. If one of them damaged by a pin or nail, there are still 15 more cells with sufficient air to continue. In addition to the Tireballs new tires from BF Goodrich were selected which are more durable than previous the. They also come better with the different substrates cope and offer better performance. The off-road racer in Baja California use this tire combination for an 1,000-mile race in the desert. Engstrom said: "We have decided that it is a good upgrade for the Marines."

An "Environmental Protection Cover" is the Marines future weather protection, especially protection against the sunlight offer.

Finally, a road set was introduced, with turn signals, horn and rearview mirror. Marines of III. Marine Expeditionary Force had these features desired for safety reasons, especially for the transition from training areas on the road that is also used by civilian motorists.

It is to be scheduled to do the product improvements during the regular proper maintenance.

Interest of the Bundeswehr

The German armed forces are planning the procurement of MRZR. The Federal Office for equipment, information technology and use of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) has on 18 October 2019 the European tendering platform TED the beginning of the participation competition for "Tactical airborne capable Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV-LL)" released.

The procurement project includes a framework agreement with a term of seven years on the manufacture and delivery of up to 148 hochgelände- and airborne enabled, unprotected 4-seater emergency vehicles LL-UTV. The minimum purchase in the first lot of 65 vehicles, the rest are optional.

The tender specifies that the candidate dealer or authorized repair shop or certified in another form by the Polaris Defense Inc.. This leaves only the conclusion that it is in the tender - although this is not so directly in public documents - is a Polaris MRZR.

Polaris MRZR-D4

The Polaris MRZR-D4 (D stands for diesel, and 4 is the number of seats) has a 4-stroke SOHC three-cylinder turbo diesel engine with 933 cc displacement and 60 hp, with either two- or four-wheel drive (switchable ). The dimensions are (L / B / H) 355 x 151 x 187 cm. The roll bar is foldable and the height can be so reduced. The vehicle has an empty weight of 950 kg and can take depending on the configuration between four and six soldiers and has a payload of 680 kg and a towing capacity of 680 kg dynamic. Alone the rear Stauraumbox (82 x 124.5 x 51.8 cm) sums up to 226 kg.

MRZRs are already in more than 20 countries in the fleet - 9 of the federal police in Germany for example in the GSG. In addition to the USMC (launch 2017), the United States Special Operations Command uses the MRZR since 2013 as part of the Light Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle program. The Polaris MRZR there is optionally as a two- or four-seater (MRZR MRZR 2 and 4) are each in the gasoline or diesel variations. According to the Polaris turbo diesel engine variant has an up to 80 percent better range than the petrol variant.

André Forkert

US Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, as part of the Forward Deployed Unit Program of the 3rd Marine Division, lead 6 June 2017 driver training with the UTV on the grounds of Eagle Point Training Area, South Korea by. (David US Marine Corps / Cpl A. Diggs Video.)