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Roush unveils its Lightweight Air-portable Battlefield Mule

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Revolve Technologies Limited
: 21 September, 2008  (New Product)
Defence vehicle engineering specialist, Roush Technologies has announced an intensive international user trials programme to demonstrate the capabilities of the latest variant of its successful 6x6 lightweight air-portable platform. The programme includes a number of overseas locations and a wide variety of terrain, operational and climatic conditions.
The new variant, which is based on a similar design already in service, has been configured initially as a Battlefield Mule for close infantry support and casualty evacuation, although the design is readily adaptable for a wide range of other duties and applications. The base vehicle platform weighs just 750 kilograms – and is capable of a payload capacity of up to 1450 kilograms - twice its own weight. The unit is also compact enough to be internally transportable within key operational fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft.

The latest variant has also been re-engined – and top speed has been significantly increased. The exceptional mobility of the current in-service fleet has been retained – approach angle of 81 degrees, a departure angle of 50 degrees – and a laden traversing stability of 25 degrees. The unit is extremely stable in rough conditions.

Roush Business Development Manager, Bill Waddell says, “Troops now on active operations in theatre can have to carry up to 80 kilograms of kit – in both arduous terrain and difficult climatic conditions. One area of thinking behind the new variant high mobility Roush platform is that it could be deployed to accompany and support a typical small patrol. It could carry the bulk of their personal kit, plus required ordnance and supplies – and leave troops less fatigued and better prepared for action. In the event of injury, two side-mounted quick release stretcher modules can be deployed for casualty evacuation”.

The construction of the unit utilises advanced high-strength composite materials which help to reduce weight, whilst also offering other benefits. The inherent design flexibility of the base ‘hull’ also allows for variations in build materials – for example, where blast and ballistic protection may be required in preference to optimum payload. The exceptional mobility performance owes much to the ‘walking beam’ drive design, which ensures remarkable ground following characteristics and significantly reduces shock-load transference within the platform in rough terrain, making it ideal for casualty evacuation from the battlefield.

Roush engineers have developed the platform and packaging to accommodate a range of turbocharged direct injection diesel engines between 1.4 and 2.0 litres, not least to improve vehicle performance at high altitude. The fuel systems are designed to accept Diesel 1 and 2, JP8, JP5 and B20 bio-diesel. Automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive is retained. A fully NATO compliant 24-volt electrical system is incorporated, with a high performance, high output alternator.
Roush’s ‘alternative option’ Diesel Quad Gets More Power

To compliment the expansion of its lightweight air-portable platform programme - and provide additional or alternative options for close infantry support, Roush has announced further developments associated with its Diesel Quad-bike and ATV programme.

Having recently confirmed the successful completion of assessment trails of its pre-production supercharged diesel-engined, Arctic Cat-based Quad bike, the company has now also confirmed that it is working on the packaging and application of up-rated diesel engines in other similar machines.

“Quad bikes and ATVs continue to gain favour with Special Forces and operational units – particularly where troops are required to carry additional kit and extra weight at high altitude”, says Bill Waddell. “Primary advantages of diesels include their inherent rugged power delivery and ability to tow trailers and other equipment – plus the ability to run on single battlefield fuels. By taking a wider market approach which includes all the potential options, we are able to offer best viable solutions to a much broader range of specific operational requirements”.
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