Flyer 60 evaluated by Special Operations
The US Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Command is evaluating the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) Flyer 60 as an additional option for ‘fly and drive’ operations, defence sources have told Shephard Media.
The news follows the completion of a similar trials and evaluation programme conducted by the US Air Force Special Operations Command during 2016, which GD-OTS confirmed was centred on the testing of a ‘small number’ of Flyer 60 4x4 tactical ground vehicles for multirole operations.
USSOCOM is particularly interested in extending the capabilities of its tactical ground vehicle fleet, particularly in relation to emerging threat areas such as counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) technology, for example.
However, defence sources explained to Shephard that ‘another US Special Operations Command’ force component was currently in the process of considering Flyer 60 as part of its Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV) inventory, designed to fit inside the cargo hold of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.
ITVs can be carried by fixed and rotary wing transport aircraft including CH-47 Chinooks and C-130 Hercules, providing extended reach for insertion and extraction to/from target areas.
Vehicles can be up-armoured if necessary for strike operations or stripped down for special reconnaissance missions, defence sources explained to Shephard.
USSOCOM force elements, including US Navy SEAL Teams, are already in the process of receiving the first tranche of a total of 1,300 larger Flyer 72 variants from GD-OTS as part of the GMV1.1 programme over a seven year period.
US Army Green Berets and SEAL Teams, amongst other force elements, are currently devising concepts of operation, tactics, techniques and procedures for the new vehicle type.
However, the Flyer 60 comprises a smaller form factor vehicle which was designed to fill ‘operational gaps in fixed and rotary wing ground mobility deployment’.
Despite representing a smaller form factor than the Flyer 72, the Flyer 60 would provide SEAL Teams with greater range and payload capacity compared to in-service Polaris Government and Defense MRZR-2 and -4 ITVs.
The Flyer 60 is available in multiple variants including armoured and unarmoured light strike; personnel recovery; and C4ISTAR configurations. The vehicle is fitted with a 360-degree weapons mount as well as weapon positions in the commander’s seat and both sides of the rear passenger cabin.
Powered by a 1.9L diesel engine, the vehicle has a top speed of 65mph and cruising range of 350m with potential to carry a payload up to 3,500lbs in weight, GD-OTS literature explains.
Neither GD-OTS nor NSW would comment on the evaluation programme.
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