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Canuck
10-15-2014, 07:49 PM
In the 70-odd years since its auspicious debut, the original US military jeep – the practically identical Willys MB and Ford GPW – has proved a very tough act to follow.


The two US carmakers built some 640,000 of the quarter-ton four-by-fours between 1941 and 1945. The trucks proved their mettle on front lines in Europe and Asia and, after the war, spawned a robust civilian brand and pioneered new genre of non-combat transportation.

Riding on a long-travel suspension inspired by desert-running Trophy Trucks, the Dagor can seat a squad of nine soldiers and carry a 3,250lb payload.
One of the secrets of the jeep’s battlefield success was its extensive use of off-the-shelf commercial components – including its indefatigable Go Devil four-cylinder engine, plucked straight from Willys’ civilian Americar. The approach shortened development time and dramatically simplified maintenance and repair in the field.
Seven decades later, this old strategy is guiding a new breed of lightweight combat vehicles: funded and developed with no government participation, and assembled from a hodgepodge of bespoke and consumer-grade components.


Meet the latest entry: the Dagor, from US-based Polaris Industries. The company, best known for snowmobiles, scrappy ATVs and the new Slingshot three-wheeler, has a growing portfolio of military machinery as well, including olive-drab versions of its diminutive RZR off-roader and Sportsman ATV. The doorless Dagor, developed from scratch in just two years, is its first purpose-built war machine.


The Dagor (like its archrival, the Boeing Phantom Badger) makes use of some proven civilian-spec components, including controls and powertrain. Boeing’s Badger uses a 3-litre turbo-diesel V6 from the Jeep Grand Cherokee; Polaris is a bit cagier about engine specifics, but does disclose that the Dagor also employs a turbocharged engine capable of burning diesel or JP8 jet fuel.


About as long, wide, tall and heavy as a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the Dagor was designed with transportability in mind. One of them can fly in a sling beneath a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, and two of them can fit end-to-end in the belly of a twin-rotor CH-47 Chinook. And, of course, the Dagor was designed to survive a Low Velocity Air Drop, or LVAD — a 500-foot parachute-slowed plummet from the bay of a C-130 cargo plane.


Riding on a long-travel suspension inspired by desert-running Trophy Trucks, the Dagor can seat a squad of nine soldiers and carry a 3,250lb payload. Yet despite this prodigious capability, the compact Dagor is frugal enough to deliver a 500-mile cruising range – fully loaded. And weapons? The vehicle features hard points fore and aft for machine-gun pintle mounts and a roof designed to accommodate a 48in ring mount for heavier weapons.


Polaris is set to deliver its first Dagors to the US military during November. The vehicles will be built by Michigan-based Roush Industries, a company known for its hot-rodded Ford Mustangs and Nascar racing team. The Dagor’s price? A stout $149,000 each – a bargain by military standards, but a far cry from the original jeep, each of which set the US government back a mere $749. Such is the price of progress.

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JustBen
10-15-2014, 07:55 PM
Pretty cool, but mucho pricey.

Strewth
10-15-2014, 07:59 PM
Looks cool, but first thought was "uparmoured Razor with an extra 0 on the price tag". Would still buy. If it was made by Yamaha:p.

Four seater Razor:
http://polaris.hs.llnwd.net/o40/orv/2014/img/model-overview/media-viewer/large/rzr-4-900-eps-orange-madness-le/profile.jpg
The idea behind it is pretty neat though; a turbodiesel carrying 9 people and their gear for 500 miles in a fairly small package.

Donny Fenn
10-16-2014, 07:42 AM
cool, for sure, here is something i've wondered though why do the troops in the back always sit facing each other?
seats in the middle facing out for better observation makes more sense, right?

Tactical72
10-16-2014, 07:49 AM
cool, for sure, here is something i've wondered though why do the troops in the back always sit facing each other?
seats in the middle facing out for better observation makes more sense, right?

I think it has to do with the rear wheel wells. It's easier and simpler to place seats over the wheel wells and that leaves foot room in the cargo area of the bed. It also makes it easier to configure between cargo and passengers by not having to remove a centre row of seats.

blacksmithden
10-16-2014, 08:07 AM
Given the choice, I'd still take a Willys. :)

Tactical72
10-16-2014, 08:36 AM
^^^agree 100%^^^

TSE JR
10-23-2014, 02:15 PM
cool, for sure, here is something i've wondered though why do the troops in the back always sit facing each other?
seats in the middle facing out for better observation makes more sense, right?

The Australians have out facing "jeeps".