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Mercedes shows off latest military-issue G-class

Geolander: Latest G-Wagen-based 6.X light armoured patrol vehicle should join Mercedes' current LAPV 5.4 for the military.

Mercedes-Benz flexes military muscle with armoured and agile 6.X patrol vehicle

8 Jul 2010

MERCEDES-BENZ has moved to strengthen its position in the specialist military vehicle market, unveiling a new armoured model based on its G-class wagon at the 2010 Eurosatory expo – the world’s premier land warfare exhibition – in Paris recently.

Dubbed the 6.X, the diesel-powered light armoured patrol vehicle (LAPV) was developed in collaboration with global defence supplier EADS and extends on the current LAPV 5.4 – also based on the G-Wagen – with higher degrees of agility, protection and carrying capacity.

These include a 1.3-tonne payload, approach and departure angles of 50 and 45 degrees respectively, and a full steel body with ballistic protection.

4 center imageLeft: LAPV 7.X concept. Below: Smaller LAPV 6.X concept. The latter incorporates a modular armoured plate system that includes a mine-deflector plate on the floor of the vehicle and enables damaged plates to be removed quickly and replaced with new or extra plates.

Off-road performance is also enhanced with the fitment of variable-lift front and rear coil-over air shock absorbers which are adjustable on the fly and enable the ground clearance of the 6.X to be raised as high as 450mm.

Other highlights include an individual tyre inflation system, while specific EADS technology onboard includes a vehicle data recorder system that automatically documents mission data such as “position, data link and vehicle usage status”.

It also has a fully integrated communications system for UHF or VHF bands, an integrated mobile command, control and information system, and a jamming system.

GoAuto understands that the 6.X and the lighter 5.4 are now set to enter series production for the German military, while a larger 7.X concept that combines the drivetrain and cockpit of the G-class with the frame and axles from a Unimog truck was also presented at the exhibition as part of an 11-model showcase of Mercedes military-issue trucks.

Among these were Zetros and Actros trucks customised for the Australian Overlander project, which as GoAuto has reported refers to a $350 million “30-year strategic agreement” now in place between Daimler and the Australian Defence Force involving the supply and ongoing service and maintenance of more than 1200 vehicles.

An all-wheel drive Actros 4141 AK 8x8 Recovery heavy-duty transport vehicle was also shown, demonstrating what Mercedes claims is an unprecedented level of protection. That is, the vehicle provides ‘Level 4’ ballistic protection and Level 4b mine protection, according to NATO standards.

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