The history of warfare extols many great thinkers – China’s Sun Tzu and Prussia’s Carl Von Clausewitz, for example. But General Nathan Bedford Forrest may be the champ when it comes to packing a lot of wisdom into a few words. His advice? “Get there firstest with the mostest.” That’s exactly what America soldiers can do if they have access to the Polaris MRZR-D4 militarized, ruggedized, and specialized diesel powered ATV.
Introduced last May, the Polaris MRZR-D4 has the goods. Built on a 107″ wheelbase, the offroader weighs just 2,100 lbs but can carry 1,500 lbs of payload including 500 lbs in the cargo box. Students of military vehicles will remember the original Willys Jeep was known officially in military lingo as a quarter ton truck because it had the same 500 lb carrying capacity.
This modern military pack mule has a 993 cc 4 stroke single overhead cam three cylinder turbo diesel engine. Power to the wheels goes through a CVT. The Polaris MRZR can operate in either 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive mode. The Marine Corps has placed an order for 144 of these highly specialized beasts of burden. With 12 inches of wheel travel, they should be able to negotiate almost any obstacle encountered while on a mission. If one ever does get stuck, an built-in winch is available to help extricate it from danger.
One weakness the MRZR has is a lack of armored protection for the driver and passengers. The military often has to choose between protection and maneuverability. When the mission calls for rapid deployment and speed over the ground, the Polaris MRZR will be the perfect choice. “Fire and maneuver” is the first rule of ground based combat forces. If the Marines can to the first, the MRZR will take care of the second requirement.
The MRZR-D4 can fit into MV-22 Osprey twin rotor vertical takeoff airplane or a CH-53 Stallion helicopter. That makes it easy to deploy quickly to any place it is needed in the world. The Marine Corps doesn’t have exclusive rights to the MRZR, though. The Army is also utilizing them as well as military forces in 20 allied countries.
There is one more piece of good news. The MRZR-D4 costs about one tenth as much as a conventional troop vehicle. Smaller, faster, lighter, and cheaper — the MRZR checks a lot of boxes on the wish list of today’s military commanders.
Source: Fox Trot Alpha