SOCOM’s Floor Mobility Automobile Takes On the 2020 Mint 400

When the “Nice American Off-Highway Race” opened a brand new class to navy autos in 2020, greater than 20 groups signed up. A mixture of HMMWVs, dune buggies, and different navy {hardware} dueled over the 100-mile course exterior Las Vegas, Nevada, within the annual Mint 400.

Whereas most entries had been stripped-down variations of their active-duty counterparts, a crew of Inexperienced Berets from the fifth Special Forces Group determined their Floor Mobility Automobile might give a bit extra: They did two laps of the course with a full fight crew, with actual weapons mounted, and carrying a full load of ammo.

“We’ve got these autos loaded out how we might have them for fight and had been excited to push their limits and see what they’re able to,” the crew’s chief stated.

The GMVs have been the first floor fight machines for a lot of particular operations.

This position traces again to 2012, when the US Particular Operations Command put the phrase out that it was looking for a brand new set of wheels to exchange the HMMWV, the navy’s go-to car on the time. SOCOM wanted one thing able to carrying a excessive payload — guys, gear, and weapons — wherever on the battlefield. And it needed to be compact, sufficiently small that operators might use it to boldly navigate terrain unfit for larger, bulkier autos.

A aspect view of the Floor Mobility Automobile 1.1. Picture courtesy of Flyer Protection.

The next summer time, SOCOM awarded a contract to Flyer Protection LLC and Normal Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Methods for the Flyer 72 — a Baja truck on steroids. It served as the bottom mannequin for the Flyer Floor Mobility Automobile 1.1.

Flyer Protection govt vp of strategic planning Eric Westly stated this car was tailor-made to fulfill the wants of the operator. “I’ve been in quite a lot of wheeled autos in my profession, and I’ve by no means been in a car as quick because the Flyer. And it has a suspension that enables it to go virtually wherever,” he stated. “There’s no car that may compete with its measurement, velocity, and payload.”

The GMV 1.1 has a curb weight of seven,300 kilos and might carry a payload of 5,700 kilos with a 300-mile vary when fully kitted out. With 220 horsepower and 332 kilos of torque, the GMV 1.1 tops out at 95 mph and might seat as much as 9 folks and carry three litters. The air-ride suspension permits the car to be raised or lowered to overcome any terrain it encounters. And it’s constructed particularly to suit behind a CH-47 Chinook.

Again on the Mint 400, the Inexperienced Berets didn’t truly win the occasion. As a substitute, they took residence the race’s honorary end award. It appears they spent most of their time utilizing their GMV to tug different racers out of ditches — liberating the oppressed to the top.

This text first appeared within the Winter 2022 version of Espresso or Die’s print journal as “Test Out SOCOM’s Floor Mobility Automobile.”

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