16 October 2014

Snowmobile/Motorcyle Maker Polaris + NASCAR Tech
= Cutting Edge Special-Ops Vehicle 'DRAGOR'

Apparently getting out of the jet-ski business opened up far greener pastures in the high-tech, 21st-century military vehicle market for Minnesota-based snowmobile/ATV/electric vehicle manufacturer Polaris (who also produce Victory and Indian big bikes through their motorcycle subsidiary)...

First they concocted a clever 2-man mini-jeep -the Polaris MV850- with computer-designed tires that require no air, able to operate even after sustaining damage from gunfire or shrapnel. They've also spun-out a line of small, lightweight military support/patrol vehicles loosely-based on their existing consumer products, including the MRZR in both 2-man and 4-man configurations.

But NOW they're getting serious: aiming for a Pentagon light-vehicle contract, Polaris has teamed-up with NASCAR builders (trucks and cars) Roush Engineering to engineer and produce a small, hyper-flexible (modular) ATV specifically designed for use by Special Operations Forces: meet the DRAGOR- this one can actually seat nine troops and their packs/weapons, a big move up from Polaris' current offerings.

DRAGOR offers radical all-terrain capabilities at full payload, yet a curb weight less than 4,500lbs (to maximize range of airborne delivery). The width of the vehicle is intended to allow quick loading onto CH-47/CH-53 helicopters, or even sling-loaded under the UH-60 Black Hawk (can be air-dropped). 

The turbo-Diesel V-8 allows a 500-mile range, and it can even mount heavy weaponry. DRAGOR lists for $149,000 a copy, and Polaris Defense reports that they've already taken an order from some SE Asian country.

Can you image in the little motorized brigade we could just drop into an isolated canyon somewhere... with the requisite Special Ops troops and a maybe one of those high-tech SOF K-9 units...