More Quad Bike ATVs for Britain’s Army
The newest addition to Britain’s front-line kit will be familiar to some recreational drivers. A GBP 5 million (about $8.25 million) contract with Yamaha and Logic will supply another 200 quad-bike all terrain vehicles and modified trailers. This adds to a previous buy of 250 Yamaha Grizzly 450s.
The quad bikes can reach speeds of up to 75 km/ 46 miles per hour, can carry up to almost 160 kg/ 350 pounds with the trailer attached, and are already in use by he 16th Air Assault Brigade to deliver food, water and ammunition to troops on the front line. Upgrades include a left hand throttle which provides greater maneuverability, and dual-stretcher fit on the trailers. As one of our readers points out, however, 5 million divided by 200 is GBP 25,000 each. In contrast…
Commercial Grizzly 450 versions sell for about GBP 7,000, rising to about GBP 8,000 for the highest end models.
The new quad bikes are part of a wide panoply of new equipment bought for use on Britain’s front lines. They range from armored, v-hulled Ridgback, Mastiff, and Wolfhound Cougar MRAP variants, to large, open concept all-terrain vehicles like the Jackal. A recent buy even featured the “Springer,” a sort of militarized dune buggy for use in shuttling cargo from helicopter landing zones into base.
American forces have used ATVs in combat for some years now, from the small 4-wheeled quad bikes to cargo-carrying, Springer-like John Deere M-Gators, and “recreational utility vehicles” adapted for Special Forces use. They have been useful additions, though some have been rather maintenance intensive.
As always, the purchase is only the beginning of the story. In addition to the maintenance challenge, training is a must, as the British Army explains with an unsettling statistic:
“HSE figures, borne out by comments from soldiers recently returned from operations, show that more than half of all quad bike riders have been thrown off at some time.
This is why the Army is taking quad bike rider training so seriously. The Defence School of Transport (DST) at Leconfield runs two specific ATV courses for Army riders. There is the eight-day Basic Operator Course and also the additional five-day Quad Bike Instructors’ Course. The emphasis is on getting the maximum out of these unique machines – but in the safest possible way.”