Marines, special operations forces test MRZR vehicle that adds power and payload

Marines, special operations forces test MRZR vehicle that adds power and payload

Polaris says a version of its MRZR Alpha vehicle capable of powering off-board systems is nearing production, as well as a heavy-duty version being tested by the Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command, the manufacturer told Defense News. Ta.

Program manager John Lafata said developing the MRZR light vehicle’s ability to generate electricity to power radars, networks, weapons and more “has been the Marine Corps’ primary focus over the last year.”

To achieve this goal, Polaris has developed two products. A 1-kilowatt exportable power system that can be added to existing vehicles by installing a kit, and a 5-kilowatt system that can be integrated into new vehicles on the production line.

Both use a DC-DC power converter that connects to your existing MRZR alternator and outputs 24 volts of power. The system will communicate with the engine about how much power is needed, and will only rev the engine to a higher speed if a connected weapon or sensor requests more power, the company said.

Lafata said the power export system could allow Marines to use the technology without having to carry around separate generators to provide power. For example, the additional energy can be used to power a Networking On-the-Move satellite communications system. A common air command and control system that integrates data from air and ground radars and sensors. and a lightweight version of the Maritime Air Defense Integrated System.

He said one of the Marines’ requirements is that power export technology does not take up cargo space. So Polaris’ products include his DC-DC converter sandwiched between the two rear seats, a power distribution unit and fuse box in the pillar next to the rear passenger seat, and a small switch mounted on the dashboard. contained.

Lafata showed off the kit installed on a vehicle at the Modern Day Marine Conference earlier this month, noting that a 1-kilowatt version can be installed by the unit’s maintainers.

Polaris delivered several 5-kilowatt prototypes this year and is currently testing them at its Nevada Automotive Test Center. Lafata said production of both models is expected to begin in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

In parallel, Polaris is working with the Marine Corps and Special Operations Command to fund this effort as technology change proposals to existing Ultralight Tactical Vehicle and Light Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle contracts, respectively.

Separately, Polaris is working with both organizations to determine what their needs are for a 6x payload MRZR vehicle.

The company took the two-seater MRZR Alpha, added a mid-drive axle and extended the deck to create a longer truck with more payload space and weight capacity. Cargo capacity is 3,600 pounds, compared to 600 pounds for traditional two- and four-seaters. A seat that Alpha can carry.

Lafata said the V-22 Osprey aircraft can still transport the vehicle internally, adding that it shares more than 90% parts with the original Alpha.

The Modern Day Marine exhibit vehicle had an Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System rocket launcher installed in the truck bed. But Lafata said what was important was the new Alpha’s space and load capacity.

“It just offers a lot of functionality. Again, sticking to the Alpha concept, which is modularity and the ability to be a Swiss Army knife of vehicles, you can do a lot of different things here. [casualty evacuation]logistics, lethality,” he said.

Polaris delivered several vehicles to the Corps and Experimental Command in January. For example, the Marine Corps Combat Research Laboratory has used prototypes to conduct logistics exercises and precision fire tests as it considers what can be mounted on the back of a truck and whether it will meet its needs. Lafata said.

Lafata said Polaris realized there was a vehicle inventory gap between the MRZR and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and thought the company could fill the gap by developing this heavy-duty version of the MRZR. Now they are putting the prototype in the hands of operators to determine whether it actually fills the gap.

Megan Eckstein is a naval warfare reporter for Defense News. She has reported military news since 2009, focusing on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition programs, and budgets. Geographically she reports from four fleets and she is happiest when she is filing articles from ships. Megan is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

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