Published April 16, 2013
Ever try to sneak up to someone in a HUMVEE in tight quarters?
Probably didn’t go to well.
Enter the Lightweight Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle, or LTATV.
The military grade side-by-side ATVs are deployed by U.S. Special Operations Forces on quick response and low profile missions where heavier equipment would just get in the way. The vehicles can also be transported on a variety of small aircraft, including the CH47 Chinook helicopter.
Now, RP Advanced Mobile Systems has unveiled its latest entry into the class, the C2 Commander. The McMinnville, Oregon-based company is run by ex-USAF Special Operations Weapons Control Specialist Terry Wilmeth, and specializes in upfitting consumer versions of ATVs for military use.
The C2 Commander is based on the Can-Am Commander and retains its basic 4x4 chassis and 976 cc Rotax powertrain, but RP adds a few military specific tweaks.
Along with strengthened bumpers built for pushing vehicles and other obstacles out of its way, the C2 Commander gets an upgraded suspension system and a multi-modal cargo bed that can accommodate a variety of weapons systems and gear, including a medical litter for transporting injured troops.
RP has also developed its own run-flat tires made with up to 12-plys that run on beadlock wheels. The company says the tires can take a hit from a 7.62 mm round and continue for up to 75 miles at a speed of 45 mph when deflated. In addition with basic black, they’re available in tan to blend in better with vehicles finished in desert camouflage schemes.
The biggest mechanical change, however, is the addition of an electronically activated rear open differential system, or RODS. While most ATVs come with a locked rear differential for maximum off-road capability, RODS gives the C2 Commander added maneuverability on paved roads and in tight, urban quarters.
RP has also developed a unique seating system designed to reduce fatigue on long sorties over rough terrain. Wilmeth says this is one of the biggest complaints heard from Special Forces operatives returning from LTATV-based missions, so they’ve constructed a seat using a memory foam-type material that offers improved support and better conforms to their gear, and even has a removable section in the back to accommodate backpacks and other “battle rattle.”
The C2 Commander will be making its public debut at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference Association in Tampa in May. If it works as well as RP says it does, it might be the last time anyone out of uniform gets to see one, secret missions and all that.
The per unit price is around $25,000 and it is only available to the military, but you can pick up the tires for your ATV for about $250 each.
Just remember to leave the national security matters to the professionals, if you do.