The Marines are getting these sweet new 4-wheelers for high-speed ops

Infantry Marines will soon receive ultralight off-road vehicles that will improve mission readiness by providing rapid logistics support in the field.

Program Executive Officer Land Systems, the Corps’ acquisition arm for major land programs, is expected to deliver 144 Utility Task Vehicles to the regiment-level starting later this month — a mere six months from contract award.

The Marine Corps Program Executive Officer Land Systems is expected to deliver 144 Utility Task Vehicles to the regiment-level starting in February 2017. The rugged all-terrain vehicle can carry up to four Marines or be converted to haul 1,500 pounds of supplies. With minimal armor and size, the UTV can quickly haul extra ammunition and provisions, or injured Marines, while preserving energy and stealth. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Private 1st Class Rhita Daniel)

The rugged all-terrain vehicle can carry up to four Marines or be converted to haul 1,500 pounds of supplies. With minimal armor, the UTV can quickly haul extra ammunition and provisions, or injured Marines, while preserving energy and stealth.

“The Marine’s pack is getting heavier, and they are carrying more gear than ever down range,” said Jessica Turner, team lead for Internally Transportable Vehicles/Utility Task Vehicles at PEO LS. “Infantry Marines were looking for a capability that would lessen the load while increasing the area of operation, and the UTV is that solution.”

Read More: Fast Attack Vehicles might be exactly what the Army needs to stop ISIS

The UTV is a new capability for the fleet. Measuring roughly 12 feet long, the commercially acquired diesel vehicle is modular, with back seats that convert into a small cargo bed.  Thanks to its small size, the UTV fits inside MV-22 Ospreys and CH-53E helicopters for easy transport to remote locations and greater tactical support.

PEO LS joined a Marine Corps Special Operations Command contract to deliver the capability to Marines in such a short amount of time.

“We have taken an off-the-shelf capability and leveraged it with other commands to maximize the effort,” said Eugene Morin, product manager for Legacy Light Tactical Vehicles at PEO LS. “The continued challenge for the Marine Corps is finding commercial-off-the-shelf items that satisfy the needs of Marines. Through partnerships like this, we can find the solutions we need.”

In exchange, MARSOC partnered with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory to run field user evaluations on the UTV to ensure it met the needs of the warfighter.

“One key takeaway from the MCWL testing was user feedback from Infantry Marines,” said Mark Godfrey, vehicle capabilities integration officer at Marine Corps Combat Development and Integration. “MCWL did demonstrations such as casualty evacuation and maximum payload, and were able to tell us Marines’ thoughts on the value of the vehicle.”

The UTV program also satisfies the infantry’s requirement to maneuver more rapidly and deeply throughout the battlespace.

Much like larger tactical vehicles, Marines authorized to drive the UTV will be required to complete operator training as well as additional off-road vehicle safety procedures.

“One reason for the driving course is the UTV is an off-road vehicle,” Turner said. “The UTV’s suspension, handling and the way it distributes power is a lot different than a regular vehicle.”

Eighteen vehicles will be delivered to specific infantry regiments, with the first shipment going to I and II Marine Expeditionary Force in February, and III MEF in March and April. The Marine Corps will continue to seek ways to leverage partnerships and speed acquisition for Marines.

“The UTV is a perfect example of how we can do acquisition faster and more efficiently,” said Godfrey. “It may be a model for obtaining items from industry quicker in the future.”

    This article originally appeared on MCSC Office of Public Affairs. Follow @https://twitter.com/USMC on Twitter
    TOP ARTICLES
    How African nations boosted a strong anti-terror force to fight jihadis

    African nations have decided to battle against the spread of Islamic extremism in Africa. France, along with several European countries, supports them.

    Watch the trailer for Clint Eastwood's new Spencer Stone movie

    In Clint Eastwood's new movie, "The 15:17 to Paris", he made the boldly cast the three American heroes as themselves. We Are the Mighty has the trailer.

    Why the US is suddenly willing to talk to North Korea

    The U.S. said it has a direct line of communication with North Korea; coincidentally a day after Dennis Rodman said he wanted to intervene on their behalf.

    7 reasons why active duty hate on reservists

    10 reasons all troops should have a pet

    Two of the greatest things ever are pets and our troops coming home. Nothing will pull at your heartstrings like when the two are combined.

    12 important things that need to be in your bug-out bag yesterday

    There are a lot of disasters happening these days. Our resident operator says you need these bare essentials in case of a fast, unplanned evacuation.

    These are the insane dangers of being a combat engineer

    Once a combat engineer locates an improvised explosive device, the danger's just begun. These guys are tough as nails as they face danger on each patrol.

    Yes, the Army has fixed-wing aircraft and it flew this tank for 30 years

    This obscure United States Army transport could bring 30 troops or three pallets of cargo to a location where a C-130 Hercules was unable to land.

    5 life lessons today's troops could learn from Vietnam vets

    The truth is, that old Vietnam vet you met at the Legion while trying to get cheap drinks isn't all that different from the men and women fighting today.

    China's version of the F-15 Strike Eagle is a huge ripoff

    China copied a multi-role version of the Russian Flanker to field a plane comparable to the F-15E Strike Eagle. How's this capable airframe stack up?