Today’s defense vehicles are feats of modern engineering. They are the most capable off-road vehicles, able to operate in the harshest environments and most challenging conditions. Some, like the modern battle tank, host some serious firepower, while others are purpose-built for tactical requirements.
To celebrate the might and power of these state-of-the-art feats of engineering, we’ve rounded up the five most impressive land-based defense vehicles currently roaming the planet.
1. Abrams M1A2
In mechanized combat, the role of the tip of the spear goes to the main battle tank. A heavily fortified mobile fortress, the main battle tank has seen its role change from a light but cumbersome armored vehicle to a physically imposing yet mobile force of nature delivering devastating firepower.
And few main battle tanks today are as combat-proven as the U.S Army’s Abrams M1A2. Incorporating the experience from developing the M1A1, the M1A2 is a worthy successor. The M1A2 delivers superior firepower thanks to its 120mm XM256 smoothbore cannon, two 7.62mm M240 machine guns, and a .50 cal M2 machine gun. Its armaments are supported by a highly defensible, heavy exterior and integrated computer systems offering high levels of protection and tactical awareness.
2. Willys MB
Few mechanized units are as iconic as the Willys MB, and fewer still have had such an enduring legacy. Indeed, its unprecedented versatility and utility earned praised from then-President Eisenhower, stating, “America could not have won World War II without it.”
The Willys-Overland MB or, as it’s better known, the Jeep, is said to have been considered for modernized warfare, replacing horses and motorcycles with a standardized mechanized fleet. It was a very effective land vehicle, featuring outstanding performance thanks to its 4×4 design and its ability to generate 60 horsepower at 4,000 rpm meant it commandeered various utility roles with improved efficiency and durability.
Post-war, the Jeep has translated well into the commercial automotive market, creating with it a subculture of fans and admirers alike.
The introduction of asymmetrical tactics and the prolific use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in combat theatre gave rise to the stalwart of any land-based mechanized fleet today; the mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle. There is anecdotal evidence of the MRAPs abilities on the modern battlefield. Many in fact, have been credited for saving countless of lives against the threat of asymmetrical warfare.
One such example is the JAIS range of vehicles. Featuring a 4×4 and 6×6 configuration, the JAIS provides exceptional protection, in part to its state-of-the-art “crew citadel” protection system, without sacrificing tactical mobility. Its modular design enables the JAIS to serve a variety of operational roles, from an infantry fighting vehicle to command and control, and even engineering and recovery.
4. Mercedes-Benz G-Class
If the American-made High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or HMMWV for short had an equivalent counterpart, it would be the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Also known as the G-Wagon, G-Wagen, or Gelandwagen, the G-Class was first built as a military vehicle in the 1970s. Its original design featured various configurations, such as a short or long wheelbase, a selection of petrol and diesel engines, and two- or four-door finish.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class was a favorite among many military forces, with 63 armies employing the G-Class as part of their light utility fleet. In fact, Mercedes-Benz has guaranteed continued production of the G-Class for NATO as a support vehicle until 2025. Aside from its various body configurations and superficial designs, the G-Class is known for its outstanding tactical mobility across all terrain conditions.
5. AJBAN LRSOV
When the special forces community requires a vehicle designed for a great crossover between mission requirements and operational capabilities, they turn to the AJBAN LRSOV, the UAE’s long-range reconnaissance vehicle. An open-top 4×4 light utility vehicle, the AJBAN LRSOV is highly modular and configurable to accommodate a full range of user-specific equipment.
The LRSOV is exceptionally transportable, able to be helicopter-inserted to perform high-speed responses in the remotest of sites. A fully protected tactical vehicle, the LRSOV comes equipped with a high-mounted heavy machine gun ring and gun mounts across all crew positions. The LRSOV can also be outfitted with ballistic and blast protection for added crew survivability.
The best military vehicles highlight some of the best military technology ever to traverse a combat theatre. Offering superior protection, firepower, and mobility, these five primary mobile platforms have been developed to meet the diverse requirements of today’s modern battlefield.
Senior International Business Development and Sales Manager, NIMR Automotive LLC
Miles Chambers joined NIMR Automotive in October 2016 as Senior International Business Development and Sales Manager. In this capacity, Miles oversees NIMR Automotive’s expansion to Global markets, particularly into Europe and Southeast Asia. In addition to his responsibilities at NIMR Automotive, Miles is the Chairman of the Azerbaijan-South Africa Chamber of Commerce.