Australian Army personnel could soon be driving around in a six-wheeled reconnaissance vehicle built in Queensland from a LandCruiser 79 Series.
A new type of vehicle is currently undergoing testing by the Australian Army.
The Military Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (MLRV) is manufactured by Queensland company Australian Patrol Vehicles (APV), based on a Toyota LandCruiser 79 Series, but modified to suit military applications.
The 6×6 MLRV has begun off-road testing by the 31st / 42nd Battalion from The Royal Queensland Regiment, as the Australian Defense Force (ADF) assesses its suitability for domestic operations.
The vehicles could provide the ADF with an alternative to the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, which was introduced to replace the Land Rover Perentie.
While the G-Wagen has been designed to be integrated with Air Force transports for long-distance flights, the LandCruiser-based MLRV is being considered for use only on Australian soil – freeing up more G-Wagens for overseas deployment, if needed.
“Army is supporting a Minister for Defense Industry SICP grant by trialling a Military Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (MLRV) to assess its suitability for use in domestic military operations,” the battalion wrote in a Facebook mail.
“Four of these 6×6 MRLVs are being put through their paces in a comprehensive land trial by soldiers from the 31st / 42nd Battalion, the Royal Queensland Regiment, the 11th Combat Service Support Battalion and the 11th Engineer Regiment.”
If successful, the MRLV could also make its way into the Regional Force Surveillance Units – specialized infantry units responsible for patrolling the most remote areas of Australia – who do not necessarily need the full engineering capabilities of the G-Wagen, and who may find maintenance and repairs to be quicker and easier with a Toyota-based vehicle.