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31 January 2014


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James, in your comments about the Royal Marines Snowcats and BVS10 Vikings you missed out a vehicle that is exactly what I think you might be referring to

The BV206, the UK still has some in service and there are many nations that also have them in service. I actually thought the US 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team used them but not sure

Anyway, they are internally transportable by Chinook and there are loads of variants, recovery, mortar, flatbed logistics, tippers and even fire tenders.

Chinook transportability


There is even a VIP version?


They can go anywhere and can swim as well

Do you need to reinvent the wheel?


Thanks much for the information. I too thought of the Bv206—just without as much supporting detail! It's clearly a vehicle that has served in many armies with a great record in the field.

The trouble, I think, is that requirement for sling-loading under a Black Hawk. If I understand correctly, the empty weight of an unarmored Bv206 is 9,900 pounds. The maximum load on the sling of a UH-60L/M is 9,000 pounds.

This leaves two options. If Hägglunds were to offer something, I imagine that they could find a way to cut the vehicle's weight by 10 percent or more. Even then, we have the Stryker-on-the-Hercules problem: it can't fly very far with a maximum load. Alternatively, I can imagine the crew decoupling the two sections in the field, and hooking up two Black Hawks. But that's probably not what the Army has in mind.

Besides, the Army wants to carry a single nine-man squad. I don't think that's essential, as I've written in this column in the past, but that's what the Army's asking for. Against that requirement, the Bv206 is too big. So, to be competitive, Hägglunds would need to create something slightly different, based on the technology, with probably just a single unit (no trailer). I'll be delighted if the company jumps into this.

And yes, you're correct: the US Army does have some Bv206s, which they call Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUSVs).

Ah, now that makes it double interesting

Internal carriage in a Chinook and sling load from a UH60 so no more than 4.5 tonnes, a big ask I think

If you ease of on being tracked then Supacat have the 4x4 Extenda, a bit of a monster off road, internally carried and able to be converted into a 6x6 by adding a module


They are 7.5 tonnes though

The Supacat ATMP is another one worth looking at


I always wondered why the people that make ski slope machines never got into the military market

Have a look at the Pisten Bully website


Am sure you could use narrower tracks and add in a cab for some of their smaller models and still come in under 4 tonnes

I do get the feeling we are into wheel reinventing territory a bit !

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James Hasik is a political economist. He serves as a senior research fellow at the Center for Government Contracting in the School of Business at George Mason University, and a non-resident senior fellow in the Defense Technology program at the Center for European Policy Analysis. Since September 2001, he has been studying global security challenges and the economic enterprises that provide the tools to address them.