Polaris Defense launches new ATV for Special Operations missions

All Terrain Vehicle fan? The latest and greatest in pimped-out ATVs designed for Special Operations just got even better.

Polaris Defense will announce a new high-performance MRZR turbo diesel (MRZR-D) Wednesday, joining its stable of state-of-the art off road vehicles. The company will debut the new vehicles at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Florida next week.

The ultra-light MRZRs have long been a military favorite for their excellent off-road mobility. They are easily configurable and allow operators to quickly prepare for missions and tackle the most extreme terrain with maximum flexibility. In addition to the U.S., more than 20 allied countries rely on MRZRs to meet mission demands.

The new MRZR-D features a turbo-charged diesel engine that has been engineered to meet the same outstanding performance of the original MRZRs.

Related: Hidden high-tech ocean pods will unleash Naval drones

Diesel is standard for military vehicles and often far more readily available in areas of operations, so this change will provide more flexibility. MRZRs are also easily transportable via tactical aircraft to wherever in the world they are needed – another key feature that makes them very fit for the purpose of Special Operations work.

What’s new?

Polaris Defense actively gathered feedback from operators and incorporated it into the new vehicle. “Throughout the last three years, we’ve had an open dialogue with Polaris about how we were using the MRZRs, and enhancements that would help us complete our missions more effectively,” explained U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Light Tactical All-Terrain Tactical Vehicle (LTATV) Acquisition Program Manager Brendon Reedy, in a statement. “In the case of the MRZR-D, we suggested changes to improve sightlines and ergonomics which were incorporated.”

The enhancements include refinements such as better sightlines, occupant seating space and ergonomics. The MRZR-D also has even better range and more auxiliary power. Features such as handling, dimensions, payload and ground clearance have remained the same.

Have Aircraft will Travel

Like the MRZRs, the MRZR-D vehicles can be transported downrange with V-22 helicopters. They can be configured a range of ways - including two-, four- and six-person teams.

Related: Australia's $39 billion submarine deal heralds new era of super-subs

Once on land, off-road capability can be essential for Special Operations to execute many types of missions so the MRZRs can provide lots of advantages.

For example, the vehicle’s ruggedness broadens access to remote locations and teams can move faster and lighter with more gear. By reducing the weight they need to carry and shifting the work to the MRZR-D, combat fatigue for the warfighter can be reduced and performance optimized.

These Special Operations-optimized ATVs feature on-demand advanced all-wheel drive.  When more traction is needed, the vehicle automatically engages all four wheels and can automatically revert back to two-wheel. This advanced technology translates into more power when an operator needs it on a mission and also less general wear and tear on the vehicle.

The MRZR-D 2 can carry 1,000 pounds while the MRZR-D 4 can carry 1,500.

Both variants also reach about 60 mph maximum speed with 88 HP engines that have been designed for extreme performance in the toughest terrain. The vehicles have fantastic throttle response and acceleration.

Related: Meet the military's new $1 billion jammer

They also have standard features like a winch, aircraft tie-downs, large cargo boxes and fold-down rollover structures for operator protection.

To ensure maximum agility, the ATVs are built with a low center of gravity. In part, this is achieved by cunning placement of key components like the engine. The vehicles also have keyless ignition, which makes it easy to jump in and go.

The smooth, highly responsive electronic power steering can help reduce fatigue for operators that have to drive for very long periods.  The roll cage has a smart design that provides protection, but can be quickly and easily removed without tools.

Last year USSOCOM awarded Polaris Defense a new contract for the MRZR. The $83 million, five year deal continued delivery order options for the MRZR 2 and MRZR 4s. The MRZR2 is an ideal variant to carry two operators and the MRZR 4 can carry four, or even six, depending on the configuration.

Production of the vehicles will continue for USSOCOM and other international contracts.