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Posted: 1/8/2003 3:00:20 PM EST

Story Filed:1/7/03 05:00 pm
Army SmarTruck II Ready for Action

Streaming Video  
·   Army’s SmarTruck II counterterrorism vehicle


A modified Chevrolet Silverado platform fitted with modules of counterterrorism equipment just might be the next big thing for homeland security.

“SmarTruck II is engineered to meet the nontraditional challenges of today’s military,” said Dennis Wend, executive director of the Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command’s National Automotive Center (NAC). “It provides built-in flexibility and offensive capability [for a variety of situations].”

The jet black prototype SmarTruck II unveiled at the North American International Auto Show didn’t much look like a Silverado pickup truck.

Rather than the usual two axles, the SmarTruck II has three, and all six wheels drive the vehicle all the time.

This is key to the SmarTruck II’s appeal, Wend said. The modification gives the SmarTruck II a 5-ton payload, so it can carry a bevy of counterterrorism equipment, much of it packaged in armored, self-contained stainless steel modules. The modules can be swapped out for other non-terrorism-related modules when needed.

For example, the SmarTruck II could carry water purification systems on disaster relief missions and communication systems for surveillance missions.

The flexibility could allow many government agencies—from FEMA to the FBI to the military—to share the vehicle, Wend said. “You won’t need to have unique trucks with installed equipment; you can just have the modules [stationed] around the United States [ready for use when needed].”

The SmarTruck II on the show floor was clearly armed for military duty. The vehicle was fitted with a guided missile launcher that has a two-mile range and a launcher for a remote-controlled Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV).

Other features: A night vision system, a high-power (50X) zoom video system with thermal imaging and surveillance radar, 360-degree cameras including one under the vehicle to help the driver prevent undercarriage damage when driving off road, and a 12,000-pound, straight-line hydraulic towing winch.

Tires are run-flats, and the grille is covered by a large metal brush guard that’s bullet-resistant to keep small armaments from puncturing the engine block.

Wend said the SmarTruck II evolved out of SmarTruck I, which was unveiled at the auto show a year ago. Testing on the SmarTruck II will begin shortly, and NAC officials hope to find interested customers wanting to buy.

But there’s a hefty price premium for this kind of Silverado. Wend said it would cost $75,000 to $100,000 just for the modified chassis with six-wheel-drive system and some kind of on-board communications system.

Link Posted: 1/8/2003 3:13:42 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 3:18:05 PM EST
[Bob Seger]"Like a Rock"[/Bob Seger]
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 3:34:40 PM EST
$75,000-$100,000! But the Jap car people said the Feds only use GM stuff cuz it's so cheap.[>:/]
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 3:44:33 PM EST
[Bob Seger]"Like a Rock"[/Bob Seger]
View Quote

He's talking about the owners, not the vehicles. [BD]
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 6:52:10 PM EST
That should be a Ford.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 6:57:09 PM EST
Oh boy. Me and my Iraqi friends are FUCKED![;)]

I thought I was badass with 4 wheel drive. It's got [size=5]6[/size=5] wheel drive.
*secretly wacks it to truck*
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 7:14:38 PM EST
[Bob Seger]"Like a Rock"[/Bob Seger]
View Quote

He's talking about the owners, not the vehicles. [BD]
View Quote

I hear ya man!  That POS '92 C/K 1500 4.3L six banger of mine only has 203k on the clock and starts every time I put the key in it.  One of these days, I'll have to get a reliable truck![:D]
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 9:10:04 PM EST
Is this a joke?

What can this chassis do that a Diesel 4x4 1 ton with a lift gate can't do as well? or better?

So it has a 5 ton payload.  Good for surveillance?  This thing sticks out like a sore thumb.  

My god, this thing makes that Tomahawk mod to Ohio Class SSBN's for fighting terrorists look rational.

With all that homeland defense money floating around, it looks someone has a bushel basket ready to catch some of it.  Only reason I can see for a monstrosity like this.  
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