Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Army’s new Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV) — its “21st century jeep” — exchanges armor for speed and off-road mobility to keep its fighting men out of harm’s way.
GMV was designed to be light and fast and quickly speed soldiers from a drop zone and out of range of enemy direct and indirect fire weapons. The first 300 GMVs will be allocated to the Army’s five airborne brigade combat teams. Another 1,700 GMVs are expected to enter Army service later on.
Each GMV can carry nine fully-equipped infantrymen. The army said five vehicles are enough to carry a platoon headquarters; three rifle squads and a weapons squad. Mechanically, the GMV is based on the General Dynamics Flyer Advanced Light Strike Vehicle.
A heavy-duty four-wheel-drive system allows the GMV to travel across terrain few other vehicles would attempt. GMV’s capabilities are eye-opening. It can climb-up a 60 degree hill and ford 30 inches of water. GMV also has a 55.5 degree approach angle and 53.1 degree departure angle.
This compares to the most off-road-worthy Jeep Wrangler, the Rubicon, which has a 44 degree approach angle and a 37 degree departure angle. A limited slip-front differential and a limited-slip locking rear differential provide increased mobility for the GMV.
The 2.0 liter bi-turbo engine reaches a top speed of 160 km/h. GMV has an operational range of 560 km. GMV can be airdropped from a transport plane or helicopter. It fits inside of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. The machine will be armed a Browning M-2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun and M240 medium machine guns.
Initial production of the GMV is ongoing and full-rate production in expected by the third quarter of FY 2019, said the Army.
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