Sunday, October 02, 2011

Articulated Eight Wheeled Army Vehicle

Proposed design for an articulated Eight wheeled version of the G-Wagon Army Vehicle.The Australian Defence Force contracted Mercedes-Benz for more than one thousand G-Class vehicles to replace the Land Rovers in service. This includes a 6x6 version, for which the ADF is the first military customer. These vehicles are unarmored and not designed for front line use. However, experience in Afghanistan shows that personnel are at risk from land-mines away from the front lines. One way to provide added protection would be to build an articulated version of the vehicle with the engine, fuel and cargo in the front section, personnel in the trailer and cargo over the back wheels. In this way no personnel would be near the wheels of the vehicle where land-mines are typically detonated.

An articulated vehicle could be built from the components of two G-Wagons: one short wheelbase for the tractor and one long wheelbase for the trailer. The passenger cabin would be removed from the short wheelbase vehicle and the chassis shortened to make the tractor. The long wheelbase vehicle would have the engine compartment replaced with a hitch to the tractor and the passenger compartment lengthened.

The same design could be used for the special forces long patrol vehicle. Currently a 6 wheel version of the Land Rover Perentie is used. Other special forces are adopting larger armored vehicles. But a narrower, lighter, articulated vehicle could be transported in a Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter. This would avoid having to drive the vehicle long distances, thus reducing the risk from land-mines.

While the engineering of an articulated vehicle may sound complex, some 1970s Land-Rover Forward Control 101 were fitted with a powered trailer, making a 6x6 vehicle.

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