Tag: Military

By on April 26, 2019

The Rare Rides series doesn’t often venture into Tough Trucks land, but when it does, it goes all the way. Before you is the International MXT, a practical pickup from the semi truck people.

(Read More…)

By on November 6, 2018

Image: GM Defense

When Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, infamously tweeted her country’s congratulations to Syria’s despotic leadership for its commitment to fighting climate change (a tweet reviewed and approved by 31 civil servants), it became clear that, for some, the environment ranks higher than anything else.

In the military world, it’s true that armies and their suppliers are often not nearly as concerned about the environment as their country’s leaders, but green vehicles are making tentative baby steps into this arena. At GM Defense LLC, zero-emission vehicles are a top field of focus, but the lakes and the frogs and the trees aren’t exactly top of mind. Rather, there’s practical military attributes to be found in green vehicles, and that’s why there’s a second zero-emission Chevrolet concept rolling out of the automaker’s defense arm. (Read More…)

By on May 1, 2018

General Motors SURUS platform

It’s been a rough road for autonomous vehicles. Despite development progressing significantly over the last decade, tech companies and automakers have been confronted with a myriad of issues. There have been intellectual property lawsuits, public safety concerns, and a recent backlash from government officials who are starting to wonder if the entire concept has been oversold.

However, the government still wants self-driving cars, especially the Pentagon. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been researching autonomous cars since the technology was in its infancy and, with so many firms trying to bring the technology to market, the military sees no reason it shouldn’t be the first.

It’s not like it doesn’t have the money. (Read More…)

By on October 9, 2017

General Motors SURUS platform

“Old soldiers never die,” the saying goes, “they just fade away.”

And that’s exactly what General Motors, no stranger to U.S. military products, did following the Cold War. The company that once produced the Cadillac-built M5 Stuart tank and Buick-built M18 Hellcat tank destroyer in World War Two sold its military products division — GM Defense — to General Dynamics in 2003.

However, just because Stryker and LAV III light armored vehicle production is now someone else’s responsibility doesn’t mean GM isn’t interested in fulfilling the military’s needs. The company still ships engines and transmissions to the Army, but according to a new report, the automaker is once again planning an official military division. (Read More…)

By on November 11, 2016

veterans day (steve corey/flickr)

It’s Friday, but it’s also Veterans Day. North of the border, it’s Remembrance Day — something I was reminded of when a pair of CF-18s buzzed this writer’s home at 11:11 this morning.

Because of the solemn date, our weekly look at odd automotive news will take on a camo green tinge. Sure, we’d love to regale you with stories of Allied forces turning their jeeps and 6×6 trucks into mobile gun platforms in the mud of western Europe, but that’s in the past.

Today, we look at a Syrian mystery vehicle, militants with wood, and a city terrorized by a bland color. (Read More…)

By on November 7, 2016

peshmerga bmw kirkuk

In the many wars spanning the globe, a variety of vehicles have been pressed into military service by insurgents and militias alike, most notably the venerable Toyota Hilux. More recently Chinese compact pickups have appeared on battlegrounds, and even one Texas plumber’s Ford F-250 turned up in the hands of some bad guys.

Now comes word that, on October 21, a heroic Kurdish Peshmerga fighter used his bulletproof E32 BMW 7 Series as a military ambulance to save up to 70 people.

Ako Abdulrehman made repeated trips under ISIS sniper fire to save fighters and civilians wounded during the militants’ attack on the Kurdish city of Kirkuk. (Read More…)

By on October 3, 2016

trd_8212-final

General Motors has rolled out a unique variant of its popular midsize Chevrolet Colorado pickup in advance of U.S. military trials scheduled to begin next year.

The Colorado ZH2, seemingly plucked from the set of a Mad Max sequel, has seen its frame and body stretched, reinforced and modified to within an inch of its life, and draws its power from a hydrogen fuel cell.

If this sounds like eco-nonsense, and you’re wondering when the U.S. Navy will announce a return to sail, hold on — there are tactical advantages to the vehicle’s powertrain. (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2016

U.S. Marines amphibious assault vehicle (U.S. Pacific Command/Flickr)

What a difference seven decades make. In the early 1940s, Mitsubishi Zeroes of the Imperial Japanese Navy tangled with U.S. Grumman Wildcats and Hellcats in the skies over the west Pacific. Now, the aircraft’s builder wants the U.S. Marines to sign up for its amphibious assault vehicle.

Japan is getting into the arms export game after scrapping a law forbidding it, with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries now in talks with a U.S. company to partner on the vehicle, Reuters reports. (Read More…)

By on August 23, 2016

Iraqi remote control gun car

Mosul is the largest population center in northern Iraq, but it has been in ISIS hands since extremist militants overran the city of 2.5 million in June of 2014.

Taking the city back has proven a challenge, but the Iraqi Army, backed by Allied forces, plans to deploy a new tool to make it happen. It’s no longer than a Mazda MX-5, and not nearly as sexy, but Iraq thinks this four-wheeled robotic death car gives them a big advantage. (Read More…)

By on July 22, 2016

Seventh-Generation Toyota Hilux

Toyota SUVs and pickups are popular with insurgents in overseas conflict zones, so why shouldn’t the U.S. military kick the tires on some?

The U.S. Special Operations Command just placed an order for up to 556 vehicles outfitted for “unconventional warfare” use, most of them Toyota Land Cruisers, Military Aerospace reports. (Read More…)

By on July 15, 2016

Jeep Wrangler 75th anniversary concept

Jeep turns 75 years old today, and its birthday promises to be a lot more upbeat than, say, Plymouth’s.

The storied brand, which started life producing a hastily built battlefield runabout, is now a sales juggernaut for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which could be its reward for suffering through so many ownership changes over the years. To mark the special occasion, FCA built a one-off Wrangler that takes the brand back to its roots.

You can’t buy it, but you can remove the doors and fold down the windshield on your own Wrangler, head to a nearby field, paint some signs in German and pretend it’s two weeks ’till V-E Day. (Read More…)

By on July 5, 2016

Toyota Hilux. Picture courtesy of Toyota

It’s a well-known fact that Islamic State fighters enjoy using hardy Toyota pickups in their pursuit of cleansing the Middle East of people even slightly different from themselves, but they’ll need to restock after last week.

Recent Allied military advances, including a huge, weeks-long push that liberated the Iraqi city of Fallujah, have ISIS on the run, and the U.S. Air Force’s best aerial hardware just caught a huge number of their vehicles making a break for it.

The results, as Defense Department video of the strike shows, wasn’t pretty — for the insurgents or their trucks. (Read More…)

By on May 5, 2016

ejection

With the exception of intercepting tornadoes (and maybe mudding), this is about as much fun as you can have with a mid-1990s Dodge Ram pickup.

Maj. Lonny Handwork, who serves with the Royal Canadian Air Force, gets to drive the very low-tech testbed for the RCAF’s newest ejection seat. He pulled rank to get behind the wheel, and he’s just tickled by the whole thing. (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2016

used cars (Martin Kleppe/Flickr)

We’ve all dealt with a car salesman who wanted us to sign our life away on an overpriced import, but there’s a good chance that’s literally happening in Iraq right now.

Reuters reports that Islamic State fighters have taken to running car dealerships as a way of making money, now that allied airstrikes have cut off much of their oil-generated income. (Read More…)

By on April 14, 2016

M1A1 Abrams tank

Despite their psychopathic barbarity, ISIS fighters fear many things — women, music, culture, bathing, and now a lone tank dubbed “The Beast.”

According to U.S. military official Col. Steve Warren, an American-trained Iraqi tank crew has become a one-vehicle Dirty Dozen in the aptly named Iraqi city of Hit, the Associated Press has reported.

As part of ongoing efforts to retake the city from ISIS militants, the lone crew is “tearing it up” with its distinctively midwestern machine, obliterating every unfriendly target of opportunity with its General Dynamics M1A1 Abrams.

(Read More…)

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