Every year, governments around the world spend billions of dollars on vehicles, that can transport the members of the military from point A to point B safely. Various trucks and cars are currently being used by the military. Some of them are regular cars that you and I could buy from a dealer, others are vehicles that have been designed specifically for military use. Here are some of the coolest looking land-based (non-tank) military machines:
The Volvo TP 21, also referred to as “Radiobil” or “Sugga” is an off-road vehicle from Volvo. Some of the car’s components were borrowed from the Volvo Series PV 800 taxi as well as a Volvo military truck. The parts that were originally intended for the truck are the front bumper, hood, and windshield, everything else comes from the taxi. The Radiobil was originally powered by a 6-cylinder in-line engine, but as time went by the engine was replaced with a V8, for better performance. The Sugga is an off-road vehicle. It’s used by the Swedish Armed Forces.
HDT Storm SRTV
This Storm Search and Rescue Tactical Vehicle (SRTV) is an all-terrain light military vehicle developed by the United States. It was the winner of the Guardian Angel Air-Deployable Rescue Vehicle (GAARV) competition awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC). The SRTV is designed to be air-dropped just outside the enemy anti-aircraft range, from where it goes behind enemy lines to retrieve crew from shot-down aircraft. It can fit aboard a variety of aircraft, including the Lockheed C-130 “Hercules,” Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, and the CH-47 Chinook.
This is a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) and infantry mobility vehicle structured to be resistant to landmines and small arms improvised explosive devices (IEDs) using a combination of design features and materials to protect both the crew and engine compartment. The Cougar comes in two main configurations, a 4×4, and 6×6. There are 11 variations of these two options and 19 nations around the world have added them to their military fleet.
The Marauder is an armored, mine-protected vehicle from South Africa, often referred to as “the meanest military machine there is.” It was launched during the 2007 International Defense Exhibition (IDEX) and Conference in Abu Dhabi, the largest arms exhibition in the Middle East. It was developed for reconnaissance and peacekeeping missions and carries a crew of up to ten including the driver and commander. This vehicle is currently being manufactured in Jordan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Singapore. The price tag? Over $500,000 and it’s one of a handful of military vehicles actually on sale to the public. It’s currently being used by the military in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Jordan, and Congo.
The SX, the “most mobile and reliable truck on earth,” according to MAN (now Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH aka RMMV), can be easily identified by their vertical windscreens. This truck was designed to operate in tough off-road conditions and specially developed to meet military requirements for carrying heavy and specialized equipment, such as radars, command shelters, antenna masts, missile launchers, etc. The MAN SX series vehicles are in service today with Germany, Austria, Denmark, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, and some other countries, although production ended in 2019.
Nr.10 IVECO M250
The IVECO M250 is a new-ish tactical truck designed to operate on all kinds of roads and off-road terrain. It comes in a 4×4 and 6×6 version. These trucks are branded ASTRA for the domestic (Italian) market while the M250 is its export designation. Export on these trucks started in 2003 with two countries currently using them: Belgium and Spain. Their military cabs are fitted with beds that can accommodate up to four people. The M250 military trucks can be airlifted by the C-130 Hercules tactical airlifter after a short preparation.
The Ural-4320 is a heavy Russian off-road truck. The Ural-4320 has been produced without significant changes since 1976. It’s a heavy-duty cargo vehicle available for both civil and military customers. This truck is in service with the Russian military and can be often spotted in various military conflicts. It has a payload capacity of 4.5-ton off-road and 6-ton hard surface roads. A basic version is a troop/cargo carrier, though many versions of the vehicle exist. It can also tow trailers or artillery pieces, and operate in severe climatic conditions from -50°C to +50°C.
The KrAZ-6322 is a Ukrainian heavy-utility truck. It’s been in productions since 1999. This military truck is currently in service with Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, and Yemen. A large number of them were ordered by the US Government for the new Iraqi Army. It can carry up to 24 service members, and a three-person cab is standard. This military truck was specially designed for off-road applications and has considerable cross-country mobility.
The Fennek is a light-armored German reconnaissance vehicle. It’s designed to avoid detection while gathering as much information about the enemy as possible. Its name comes from the fennec, a small type of desert fox – suggesting cunning and an ability to evade the enemy. In 2000, the Royal Netherlands Army ordered 410 Fennek vehicles, and the German Army placed an order for an additional 222 units. With a top speed of 70mph and the option of using either two- or four-wheel drive, the Fennek is designed more for rough and ready terrain than outright speed. However, the Fennek can also be used as a weapon, with some of the Dutch models being adapted to carry and launch surface-to-air stinger missiles. Both the Dutch and German armies have used the Fennek extensively during operations in Afghanistan.
The Volkswagen 181 was only ever supposed to be a stopgap measure while the Europa Jeep for the West German government was being produced in the 1960s. Yet somehow, the Volkswagen 181 took on a life of its own and became something of a cult figure among soldiers and consumers who continued to buy new Volkswagen 181s until 1980 when production ended. As a military vehicle, the Volkswagen 181 is pretty useless. It features a transmission stolen from a VW Beetle, and its bodywork looked like it had been put together from spare parts found at a junkyard. And yet it was treated with genuine affection by German soldiers until it was finally replaced with the Europa Jeep. But not before hundreds of models had been sold to other military forces throughout the globe – including the US where it was nicknamed the “Thing,” and Thailand where their fleet of Volkswagen 181s are amazingly still rolled out on special occasions like military parades.