Thursday, February 08, 2018

Marine Corps expo debuts electric assault vehicle

 A menacing vehicle with a cobra-like front and a lightweight camouflage frame — equipped to seize an airfield and do reconnaissance missions — made its debut Wednesday, Feb. 7 during a military expo showcasing new warfighting technology on the base.

The concept Nikola Reckless UTV (Utility Task Vehicle), which can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds on tires enhanced with Kevlar, has a lot to live up to. It was named after Staff Sgt. Reckless, a small mare that during one day in the Korean War Battle for Outpost Vegas in March 1953 made 51 trips carrying ammunition to the front lines and transporting wounded Marines back.

The fully electric vehicle was produced by Nikola Motor Company in Salt Lake City. The company has invested $500,000 to produce four prototypes. Each vehicle would cost $85,000.

“It is a workhorse with a never-quit attitude,” said Andy Christian, Nikola’s director of defense. “Its unique massive battery allows you to take energy from it and power anything, even a command center. It has an infra-red beam that can be used with night vision and a remote weapons system machine gun that can be controlled by a joystick anywhere in the vehicle. It’s light enough to go on a MV-22 osprey.”

The Reckless, along with a new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle produced by Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense and an amphibious combat vehicle made by BAE Systems in Arlington Va., were highlights during the first day of the 27th annual two-day expo, organized by the Marine Corps League and Marine Corps Installations West.

I think the days of the light, utility type vehicle being considered for even patrol duty is coming to a rapid end.

There was an element inside the Marine Corps that was pushing for internally carried vehicles and for the Corps to shed anything that wasn't capable of being transported by helicopter.

With the talk of peer nation combat those days are over.

Quite frankly the evolution of terrorists would have made the ITVs days numbered even if leadership did not start thinking about full scale warfare against a technologically capable opponent.

These buggies might be fun, but I don't think they'll have a real application in battle.

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