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Marine Corps to Equip Infantry Units with Polaris ATVs

QUANTICO, Virginia -- The U.S. Marine Corps is about to outfit its infantry regiments with a version of the Polaris Defense MRZR four-seater, all-terrain vehicle.

Under the Utility Task Vehicle program, the Marines are planning to purchase 144 Polaris MRZR-Ds, a new version of the vehicle designed to take diesel and JP8 fuel, Joaquin Salas, business development fort Polaris Defense, told Tuesday at Modern Day Marine 2016.

No contract has been awarded yet, but the Corps is planning on fielding 18 MRZR-Ds per infantry regiment, according to UTV program information displayed at the USMC’s Program Manager Light Tactical Vehicles booth at the show.

The vehicles are scheduled to go into production in October, Salas said. In addition to the four crew seats, the MRZR-D features a small cargo bed and is capable of carrying 1,500 pounds of payload, Salas said.

The MRZR-D vehicles are designed to be carried inside a V-22 Osprey “to provide logistic support for infantry forces,” Salas said. “It enables them to deploy long distance in the V-22, and then when they get to the ground they are not stuck with only their feet to move logistics.”

The U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division dropped 10 MRZRs when it jumped into Poland in June as part of an exercise to test of their ability to bolster NATO's eastern flank against possible Russian aggression.

The MRZR ATV is a very Spartan design. There’s no armor protection. It’s designed to carry extra ammunition, food, water and casualties if necessary.

“We are not comparing this to a JLTV or an up-armored Humvee or anything like that,” Salas said. “It’s designed to stay off road; it’s designed to enable you to be unpredictable.

“It’s a mule. It’s designed to be there at the most tactical level.”

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