Until our soldiers ride into battle atop mechanical war wolves (looking at you Big Dog, assuming Google lets you play), they will just have to settle for packing an entire nine-man squad into the nearly unstoppable DAGOR from Polaris.
Developed by the ATV maker in conjunction with Roush Industries as part of the US military’s new Ultra Light Combat Vehicle program, the DAGOR is about the size of a four-door Jeep Wrangler but so, so much more badass. It seats nine — four in the front seats, four on the rear benches, and a roof gunner suspended from the rollbar in a sling seat — or can carry up to 1474kg of gear over as many as 800km of terrain rugged enough to make a mountain goat blush. Not bad for a truck that itself weighs just 2000kg, though the Fox off-road suspension certainly helps.
In fact, most everything about the DAGOR comes from off the shelf components, including its unnamed diesel/JP8 engine, its driveline, and controls. This has allowed Polaris to develop the DAGOR platform from drawing board to production in less than 2 years while costing less than $US150,000 per unit. That’s a steal by military procurement standards. Heck, even its name is borrowed. DAGOR doesn’t actually stand for anything; it’s not like it’s an acronym, though it does translate as Sindarin for “Battle” (as in Dagor Dagorath, the “Battle of Battles”), so that’s handy.
And since the DAGOR is specced as an Ultra Light Combat Vehicle, it can easily fit aboard a variety of military transport aircraft without heavy modifications. You can stuff one into the belly of a CH-53 Sea Stallion, you can pack a pair into a CH-47 Chinook, or even sling one from the underside of a UH-60 Black Hawk.
“DAGOR is larger than our previous offerings like the MRZR and MV850, and represents a step up in size for Polaris and in payload for our customers.” Jed Leonard, manager of Advanced Mobility Platforms and Polaris Defence, said in a press statement. “DAGOR highlights Polaris Defence’s ability to fill an urgent need, with an affordable purpose-built MILCOTS solution that can be maintained anywhere with a COTS [commercial off the shelf] supply chain.”
The DAGOR will make its official public debut at the 2014 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting, in DC next week. However, according to a report by the WSJ, the vehicle is not only already in production but has also been approved for export to an unidentified military force somewhere along the Pacific Rim (most likely South Korea). [Defence Update – Fox News – Polaris – WSJ – Polaris – Breaking Defence]