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Northrop Grumman unveils proposal for next U.S. Special Ops vehicle

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Northrop Grumman

Who says car racing isn’t a battle?

Northrop Grumman has unveiled its proposal for the U.S. Special Forces' next combat car, the Medium Assault Vehicle – Light (MAV-L.)

One of several entries being evaluated for the U.S. Special Operations Command Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 competition, the truck was co-developed with BAE Systems and Pratt & Miller engineering, the same outfit behind the 2012 American Le Mans Series GT championship-winning Corvette Racing team.

The vehicle was designed from the ground up to meet the goals of the competition, which is looking to  find a fast, relatively lightweight 4x4 that can be transported inside of a Chinook helicopter or C-130 airplane, operate in a variety of theaters and support the “peculiar modifications” required by special ops teams from each branch of the military. Approximately 1,300 of the winning vehicles will be purchased by the Pentagon through 2020 starting next year at fully equipped price of under $350,000 per unit.

The MAV-L is powered by a 4.4-liter CAT four-cylinder diesel engine with 220 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. The six-passenger truck features a protective tubular roll cage that can accommodate a variety of equipment and armament configurations, including a gun turret. Top speed of the 7,400-pound vehicle is 80 mph on pavement and 60 mph on rough roads, its weight minimized through the use of carbon fiber bodywork. Along with the open top version show, it’s been engineered with several  fully-enclosed armored solutions in mind.

Northrop Grumman tapped Pratt & Miller to build the prototype that was submitted to the Pentagon for a full gauntlet of tests by its evaluation team.

Five other proposals for the GMV are vying for the contract, including another radical, purpose-built vehicle from General Dynamics Land Systems and a more conventional pickup truck from Navistar featuring ballistic protection from Indigen Armor.

A winner is expected to be announced by the end of this year.

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