Meet the vehicle that might replace Land Rovers in the military
The days of Land Rover working as a warhorse are ending. Off-the-shelf products are seen more as a liability than an asset due to their lack of amour and mine protection. Even though the SUV market has sky rocked in the last decade, there is a large gap between the requirements of the market and the military. The military demands more sturdy and versatile vehicles, whereas the market demands more luxurious ones. The Land Rover Discovery is an excellent example of this, even though it's a capable SUV, today it is seen as a “suburban mom’s car.” However, that doesn’t mean that one cannot use its parts for building a military spec vehicle.
The Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (LRV) 400 is an air-transportable off-road vehicle designed to carry out light strike missions, reconnaissance, and logistics for the military. Based on the Land Rover Discovery platform, it combines the DNA of a Bowler Wildcat and HMT 400 Jackal, which makes the LRV 400 a fast and lethal vehicle. Just ask Hammond and Clarkson about them.
The LRV 400 is a very modular vehicle that can be configured to meet the various requirements of the military. Starting from the engine, it has a 3.2 liter V6 engine that produces 236hp and 550Nm torque. It has front and rear air suspension from a Land Rover Discovery that has been strengthened along with the chassis. The vehicle also gets an eight-speed automatic transmission with high and low range with permanent four-wheel drive. It also comes with a central differential lock with optional front and rear air locking.
It has a top speed of 160 km/h and a range of 800 km. The vehicle is designed to fit inside a CH 47 Chinook making it a perfect vehicle for “hit and run” tactics. Furthermore, with the approach and departure angle at 40°, and with a wading depth of 750mm, the vehicle can tackle any terrain. The self-recovery winch and Hutchinson bead-lock run-flats makes sure you can get out of any trouble.
The LRV is designed to be adaptable to meet the demands of various armed forces across the globe. The off-capabilities of the Discovery was one of the key reasons for using it as a base platform. The crew cab and the hamper is similar to the one of the HMT 400 Jackal, which can be further configured with ballistic armor. The vehicle comes with a remote weapons station, weapon mounts, and smoke grenade launcher, among other things. The dashboard used on it is also similar to the one on the Jackal, making the controls easier for solders when switching vehicles.
Oh, did I mention that you can convert it into a 6x6?
Adaptability and flexibility are the key aspects of the LRV 400. Using a modular third axle, the LRV 400 can be converted to the LRV 600, which extend its range and missions it can perform. Moreover, the conversion takes only a few hours; thus, users can use the 400 or the 600 variant depending on the mission. While the power to weight ratio falls down when converting to the 6x6 variant, the payload significantly increases, making the LRV 600 suitable support vehicle.
The LRV 400 and the 600 is marketed mainly towards special forces who are looking for a small air-portable vehicle and the current Land Rover users seeking to replace their aging vehicles. The primary customers are the ones who currently operate the HMT 400 Jackal and HMT 600 Coyote, mainly the British and Australian army. Moreover, the LRV is also ITAR free; thus, no pesky regulations are surrounding it. As such Supacat might even sell you one.
The LRV 400 is one of the few vehicles out there that lets you have the practicality of a 4x4 with the madness of a 6x6.