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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

30 September 2016

MDM16: Modern Day Marine 2016 Day 3 (September 29, 2016) Report

US correspondent Marty Kauchak files the following exclusive report on significant news and developments gained from delegates, exhibitors and others in the expeditionary warfare community.

USMC Program of Record

The US Marine Corps is about to outfit its infantry regiments with a version of the Polaris Defense MRZR four-seater, all-terrain vehicle, the MRZR-D.

A spokesperson at the Program Manager Light Tactical Vehicles booth at this exposition told MT the award of the Utility Task Vehicle programme contract, “should be issued in early October,” permitting the Marines to purchase 144 Polaris MRZR-Ds, a new version of the vehicle designed to take diesel and JP-8 fuel.

The Corps is planning on fielding 18 MRZR-Ds per infantry regiment.

Joaquin Salas, business development manager for Polaris Defense, said the vehicles are scheduled to go into production in October. In addition to the four crew seats, the MRZR-D features a small cargo bed and is capable of carrying 1,500 lbs. (680.4kg) of payload – 500 lbs. in the rear cargo bed. (Photo: USMC Sgt. Cuong Le)

Joaquin Salas, business development manager for Polaris Defense, said the vehicles are scheduled to go into production in October. In addition to the four crew seats, the MRZR-D features a small cargo bed and is capable of carrying 1,500lbs. (680.4kg) of payload – 500lbs. in the rear cargo bed.  

Salas further added the MRZR-Ds will be powered by Kohler diesel engines.

The MRZR-D vehicles are designed to be carried inside a V-22 OSPREY, “to provide logistic support for infantry forces,” Salas also told MT.

The MRZR baseline vehicle has a current successful, operational history. The US Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division dropped 10 MRZRs when it jumped into Poland in June as part of an exercise to test of their ability to bolster NATO’s eastern flank against possible Russian aggression.

The MRZR-D has a very Spartan design and with good reason, as the new vehicle fits quite well Polaris Defense’s business model and market niche as a supplier of ultralight tactical vehicles. Indeed, Salas reminded this correspondent of his company’s earlier successes in this space with the DAGOR.

Exhibitor Perspectives

TerraGroup’s latest TECWAR water purification system, Military Purification Reverse Osmosis 30 Heavy Duty Extreme (MPRO 30HDX), has been built with simplicity and form factor in mind.

Jason Parrish, a developer and marketing representative at the company, emphasised the system’s major components include two switches and a valve. “We’re keeping it simple,” said the Holly Ridge, North Carolina-based retired Marine Corps logistician.  The MPRO 30HDX allows expeditionary forces to produce drinking water at the small unit level from freshwater, brackish or salt water. The modular and scalable water purification system can produce up to 15 gallons per hour (about 900 bottles) in a four-hour period.

MPRO 30HDX was developed in response to a recent USMC request for information. The R&D version unveiled for MDM delegates weighs 114 lbs. (51.7kg.). “This version was designed with a lot of ‘open space’. We have an opportunity to further reduce the weight if necessary.” The system is expected to be competed for imminent Marine Corps and US Army contract awards. “In fact we’ll be testing the MPRO 30HDX for the Army in first quarter of calendar 2017.”

The system is powered by AC or DC sources.

The company’s legacy portfolio includes its LWPS which is a USMC and US Navy Program of Record. The system is also used by unspecified special operations forces.

The company will be presenting the MPRO 30HDX to a NATO engineering conference in Prague this October (Future Forces 2016, see banner above - the Ed.). Parrish further reported there is interest in the MPRO 30HDX by the UK Ministry of Defence.

Andy Howell, the managing director at BCB International, unveiled a series of non-lethal boat stopping systems: Barracuda (a handheld device capable of launching a 36m [40 yard] arrestor line and two 1m [3ft] anchors); Buccaneer (delivering specialised payloads to lay netting at a range up to 200m); and Sea Stinger (a device capable of deploying entangling netting out to a range of 600 metres).

These boat stopping systems support missions on the lower spectrum of conflict, where suspected targets and their occupants may want to be stopped and questioned – without shots fired and injuries created. Howell likened the systems’ capabilities to a land-based spike or stinger system, which is deployed on roads to puncture tires and stop vehicles.  

The UK-based company’s boat stopping portfolio has been in development for two-to-three years.

An initial customer for these systems is in Japan. Initial trials are underway for a UK customer.

Howell also noted these products were designed to support operations inside the littoral regions – in harbors, on rivers and similar bodies of water.

Ground forces continue to have options to permit their vehicles to operate after sustaining tire damage

Accella’s latest RePneuTV flatproofing treatment was reported to allow tires to withstand .50 caliber ballistic rifle shots and other damage, and continue running.

The company’s baseline technology permits a high performance liquid polyurethane polymer to be pumped into the tire through a valve stem to replace all of the air, and then curing to a resilient, synthetic ballistic core.

Bob Rose, a technical consultant at the company, noted that while this flatproofing technology is a heavier option than a run-flat-based system, it also lowers the center of gravity, yielding enhanced stability and performance under extremis conditions.

Accella plans to compete its flatproofing treatment for an OEM’s vehicle program this November.    

Marty Kauchak