September 13, 2011 Andrew White, SHEPARD GROUP
London - Force Development Services (FDS) unveiled the Nomad Light Role Tactical Vehicle (LRTV) at DSEi on 13 September as it targets requirements within the special operations community.
The 4x4 platform is designed for offensive action, fire support, surveillance and reconnaissance, casualty evacuation and utility operations and is capable of being carried on board a CH-47 Chinook helicopter as well as the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.
Speaking to Shephard at the show, FDS director Bob Tyler said this was a prime requirement from armed forces around the world including the UK MoD.
'The need to be transportable inside a CH-47 is there and it is a requirement that the MoD has,' he explained, although he conceded that no such requirement had yet been officially released.
Describing how patrol vehicles such as Supacat's Jackal required significant preparation before being boarded onto such a helicopter, Tyler said: 'There is a need for troops on the ground to be extracted quickly.'
Unable to confirm specific details, Tyler admitted that FDS was aware of various requirements from the US Special Operations Command, including the air force's Guardian Angel and a separate requirement which is understood to have been released last week for US special operations forces.
'The current open-top patrol vehicles were originally designed to easily interface with helicopters and airborne forces. However, it is understood that due to the advent of ballistic blast underbelly plates and other design changes, this range of vehicles are considered as only just capable of fitting into tactical transport helicopters.
'It is understood that a smaller multiple role vehicle is desired by many heli-borne, airborne and maritime units formations,' he continued.
The DSEi exhibit vehicle was on show with two forward-mounted GPMGs and a rear-mounted .50-cal machine gun which can be dismounted if required. The vehicle boasts a payload of some 1,600kg and the rear seat can be removed for casualty evacuation or cargo carriage. More specialised roles could include assault team delivery of counter-terrorism teams and tactical load hauling.
The LRTV is not blast protected against IEDs but Tyler said it did comprise protection versus anti-personnel mines and fragmentation. The vehicle is designed with a 3mm ballistic steel underbelly.
Tyler also described how the vehicle was fitted with a C2UK C4I system for mapping, blue force tracking, GPS and 3G capabilities.