1. Helicopter Carried Vehicles — Part 1 (Introduction)
  2. Helicopter Carried Vehicles — Part 2 (Motorcycles and ATVs)
  3. Helicopter Carried Vehicles — Part 3 (UTVs and Load Carriers)
  4. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 4 (Medium Wheeled Vehicles)
  5. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 5 (Tracked Utility Vehicles)
  6. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 6 (Multi Axle Skid Steers) 
  7. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 7 (Uncrewed) 
  8. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 8 (Tractors and Trailers) 
  9. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 9 (Engineering Plant and Watercraft) 
  10. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 10 (Weapons and Systems) 
  11. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 11 (Comparisons) 
  12. Helicopter Carried Vehicles – Part 12 (Discussion) 

Most Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) designs tend to follow a familiar engine front format, with each manufacturer adjusting the proportion of seating and load carriage space to suit user and market requirements.

The agricultural and municipal sector also requires vehicles of the same weight and dimensions, although often more focused on carrying materials than people.

A handful of them are designed specifically for internal helicopter carriage, but most have never seen the inside of an aircraft, let alone a helicopter.

The majority are wider than a quad ATV but narrower than a conventional 4×4 or pickup truck, i.e. between 1.4m and 1.6m wide.

Side by Side UTVs

Civilian UTVs

There are numerous manufacturers; Polaris, Bobcat, Yamaha, John Deere, Honda, Kubota, Kioti, Kawasaki, Hisun, Corvus, CF Moto, and Quadzilla 

The most common are available at a price between £8k and £20k depending on specification, with differences in power, seats, and load bed size.

The Kawasaki Mule SX is a good example of a low-cost (£8k) 2-seat compact UTV.

Even with a fixed ROPS, its height is only 1.80m and does not have a significantly larger footprint than an ATV.

The John Deere XUV855M S4 is a larger design with four seats and a tipping load bed, costing over £30k.

Although none of the models linked above is ‘military’, some have useful features or dimensions, some Bobcat models, for example, can have hydraulic attachments fitted to the front (more on this one later in the series)

UNAC Rider and Bale Defence RTV

The UNAC Rider and Bale Defence Rough Terrain Vehicle are quite similar, both built specifically for defence customers, the latter providing 40 vehicles at a cost of approximately £110k each to the Australian Defence Forces.

They are both two-seaters, compact, weigh about a tonne, and have another tonne as payload (including fuel and passengers).

This is a great video from DTR on the Mk2 RTV.

Both would need a folding ROPS to be internally carried.

IAS Mach 1 and 2

International Automated Systems (IAS) has adapted the John Deere Gator family for defence markets, with several variants available.

The IAS Mach vehicles are a good example of how V-22 compatibility also works well for Merlin, the ROPS stowed, height is only 1.52m.

Polaris MRZR

The market leader in this space is Polaris with their MRZR range, a vehicle that has evolved over many years in response to military users’ feedback.

The MRZR Diesel is available in two models, D2 and D4, the number denoting the number of seats.

Merlin…

The short clip below shows how relatively easy they are to load in a Merlin.

A D4

Chinook…

The longer D4 is the same width and height as the D2 and has the same rear load bed and carrying capacity.

There are multiple variants and load combinations of the MRZR, one of the benefits of a large ecosystem of operators.

Polaris MRZR Alpha

Polaris took their extensive experience with MRZR and created a clean sheet design called the MRZR Alpha

It has now been adopted by the USMC (as the Ultra-Light Tactical Vehicle) to replace their MRZRs, reportedly for $100k each.

An Alpha D4 is shown below, with a Royal Marine commando passenger.

The MRZR Alpha has improved load carriage flexibility, total payload and carriage (e.g. sling load points instead of using nets) and is available in the same D2 and D4 seating configurations.

A 6×6 version has also been shown recently, as have variants with 120 mm mortars, SPIKE NLOS missiles, enclosed cabs, tracks, and C-UAS systems.

Autonomous and hybrid/electric drive versions are also under development.

REEQ UTV

Not much information is available on the REEK UTV, but it uses the same base module as the REEQ Hybrid ATV.

Compared visually, it looks similar in width, approximately 1.5m

There is a 2-seat version.

And a 2-seat longer wheelbase version with an added axle.

Other dimensions and characteristics are unknown at the time of publishing.

Flyer 60

GD/Flyer Defense Flyer 60 vehicles have quite a long heritage, optimised for V-22, and although not a UTV, included in this section for convenience because it is less than 1.6m wide.

Available in standard, up-gunned, as a rescue vehicle with stretcher attachment points, and an armoured version, providing basic small arms and blast protection for the crew and passengers.

Although it has a maximum speed of 70mph (ca. 113 km/h), at 40 kph it has a range of more than 500 km.

The up-gunned version has been shown with 7.62 mm GPMG, 40 mm GMG, and 12.7 mm HMG, and no doubt other options are available.

Flyer 60 is the only vehicle in this section with any kind of armour or associated protection equipment.

Data Table

VehicleLength (m)Width (m)Height (m)Kerb Weight (kg)Payload (kg)
Kawasaki Mule SX2.711.341.80468181
Deere XUV855M S4 (1)3.911.571.90946600
Bobcat UV34XL (1)3.941.581.93980567
Yamaha Viking EPS (1)3.101.571.93649272
Kubota RTV (1)3.131.651.991,099550
Unac Rider (1)2.161.601.901,000900
Bale Defence RTV (1)2.201.611.99761600
IAM Mach 1 (1)3.001.421.90936635
IAM Mach 1 XL3.901.421.90936635
IAM Mach S4 (1)3.901.421.90936635
IAM Mach 2 (1)3.051.521.911,012530
IAM Mach 2XL (1)3.941.521.911,012530
MRZR D2 (1)2.871.511.88856226
MRZR D4 (1)3.561.511.88952226
MRZR Alpha D2 (1)3.721.511.861,315635
MRZR Alpha D4 (1)4.411.511.861,315907
Reeq UTV Two AxleTBCTBCTBCTBCTBC
Reeq UTV Three AxleTBCTBCTBCTBCTBC
Flyer 60 ITV4.521.521.521.801,600

(1), would need a folding ROPS for Merlin

Load Diagrams

Merlin

Chinook

Agriculture and Industry

None of these are likely to be DEFSTAN compliant, but it is always worth looking at agriculture and forestry vehicles because whilst speed is not generally a priority for their users, reliability, load carrying, and low cost are.

Agriculture Vehicles

Caron, Goldoni, and others manufacture various single-seat agricultural load carriers.

The Caron Evo is available in an articulated or rigid (with front-wheel steering) model.

The articulated model provides a tighter turning circle, but it requires hydraulics to do so, and this might not be desirable. Either way, the width stays the same.

The AR630 is mid-range, the enclosed cab models would be too high for internal carriage but with a folded ROPS, the height to the top of the steering wheel is 1.46m. The top speed is 40kph, but where these excel is in payload and towing capacity.

There are two payload models.

  • 5,000 kg maximum vehicle weight with a payload of 3,300 kg and a towing capacity of 5,610 kg
  • 3,500 kg maximum vehicle weight with a payload of 1,800 kg and a towing capacity of 2,770 kg

The load bed is 2.56m long by 1.25m wide, can carry two NATO standard pallets, and can be fitted with a three-way tipping function or other hydraulic attachments.

The Goldoni Transcar has a similar design with a similar range of performance characteristics, but the non-articulating version has an option for three seats.

From Grillo, the PK1400 4WD is an example vehicle design that would need some modification to the cab, e.g. removing it and replacing it with a folding ROPS.

It is 3.9m long, and 1.42m wide, and the height to the top of the steering wheel is 1.25m.

Weighing 1,770 Kg unladen, the maximum payload (including two people in the cab) on the 2.2m × 1.3m three-way tipping load bed is 1,750 kg.

Maximum speed is 37kph.

A slightly larger and higher payload version is the Comaca Linea, but still less than 1.6m wide.

The Linea would also need a folding ROPS instead of an enclosed cab/

Even narrower than those above, the Ladog T1150 from Germany is a mere 1,290 mm wide, the slimmest in this category.

As it is obvious, this is not an off-road vehicle, but it has permanent 4-wheel drive, a load bed that is 1.83m long by 1.15m wide, and a payload of 1.8 tonnes.

The Kramer Tremo, a similar design, and the Rasco Muvo also.

Forestry Vehicles

Mini forwarders have to work in the narrow confines of forestry plantations so naturally, they are relatively narrow, certainly less than 2m.

The Alstor 822 is a 8×8 hydraulically steered articulated mini forwarder from Sweden.

It is 1.58m wide with 25” tyres (7 cm wider than an MRZR) and 5.37m long. It would need a folding exhaust stack, but the height to the top of the seat and ROPS pivot point is 1.54m. If the hydraulic crane were removed, the operating weight would be less than 2,000 kg.

Its payload is 3,000 kg and the load bed length is 2.8m. If the log strakes were replaced with a flat load bed or tipping body, it could comfortably accommodate two full NATO pallets.

The vehicle is not fast though, the maximum speed is 25kph.

Another manufacturer of similar products from Sweden is Kranman, with an equally similar range of machines, including ones with a tipper body.

Mini Trucks

Whilst the Japanese ‘Kei Truck’ is familiar to many, similar trucks are also quite common in India.

One example is the Mahindra Jeeto Strong Diesel, and whilst it is only 2-wheel drive, it has a payload of 819 kg and a load bed that is 2.25m long. The vehicle is 3.87m long, 1.49m wide, and 1.75m high, low enough to drive in and out of either a Merlin or Chinook.

From Japan, Daihatsu, Subaru, Suzuki, Mazda, and Mitsubishi all manufacture mini trucks, some of them 4×4. The Subaru Sambar is a 4×4 Version with a 2.85m long by 1.41m wide load capable of carrying 850 kg.

Suspension travel is relatively small, so the 4×4 is really for gravel tracks and ice rather than mud and snow. They are low enough to drive directly on and off a Merlin or Chinook. The Daihatsu Hi-jet Suzuki Carry and Mazda Scrum are similar designs.

None of these are sold in the UK or US, but there is a small market of importers and resellers. They tend to have a higher load than the UTVs described above, longer range, much higher speed on the road, and enclosed cabs, but within similar dimensions.

The cab will be small though, especially for those larger types wearing body armour.

But they do look cool, just not on a side slope.

Data Table

VehicleLength (m)Width (m)Height (m)Kerb Weight (kg)Payload (kg)
Caron AR6304.461.401.461,7003,300
Goldoni Transcar 33 RS4.211.501.501,6102,390
Grillo PK1400 4WD3.901.421.301,7701,750
Comaca Mini Panterra3.501.462.101,2001,100
Comaca Linear4.191.552.102,1001,900
Ladog T11503.601.292.102,3001,800
Alstor 8225.371.581.542,0003,000
Daihatsu Hi Jet3.401.481.90900850

Load Diagrams

Merlin

Chinook


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Pacman27

    excellent TD – you should really be doing this for the MOD on a ridiculous day rate, instead they will probably be paying some consultancy loads of money and getting far less.

    no one else does this stuff – please keep it up!!!

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