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Flyer

Light special forces vehicle

Flyer

The Flyer special forces vehicle packs a formidable punch

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service 2015-2016
Configuration 4x4
Cab seating 1 + 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight (curb) 2.31 t
Payload capacity 2.5 t
Length 4.62 m
Length (with push bar and winch) 4.9 m
Width 1.52 / 1.83 m
Height 1.52 m
Mobility
Engine diesel
Engine power 195 hp
Maximum road speed 136 km/h
Range 560 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step ~ 0.4 m
Trench ~ 0.4 m
Fording ~ 0.5 m

 

   The Flyer is a light special forces vehicle. It was developed by General Dynamics to meet a US Special Operations Command's Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 requirement. This requirement called for a lightweight internally transportable vehicle with high off-road mobility to replace the venerable HMMWV in special forces service. The Flyer competed against other designs, such as Oshkosh S-ATV to meet this requirement. Eventually in 2013 the General Dynamics won the competition and the Flyer was selected for production. Initial production contract for the Flyer-72 was awarded during the same year. Low-rate initial production began in 2014. A total of 72 vehicles were planned to be delivered to the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) by 2016. Under initial contract a total of 1 300 of these special forces vehicles are planned to be in service by late 2020. Some of the US special forces Flyer vehicles saw combat. In 2018 the US Army awarded a production contract for this vehicle to support 5 airborne brigade combat teams. Italian Army obtained a small number of these fast attack vehicles.

   This special forces vehicle can be used for specialized missions such as light assault, hit-and-run style raids, reconnaissance, long-range surveillance, rescue and evacuation.

   Vehicle has a lightweight tubular chassis with a built-in roll bars. The Flyer has a payload capacity of 2 500 kg. It can carry more load that its own weight. This special forces vehicle is operated by a crew of 4, including the driver.

   This little vehicle packs a formidable punch. It has a central weapon ring, that rotates through 360 degreed. It can be armed with 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun, or alternatively a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. Also there are additional integral mounts in the doors for 7.62 mm machine guns. So other crew members can also use suppressive weapons.

   There are two versions of the Flyer 60 and Flyer 72 with various width. Number in the designation denotes vehicle width in inches. So the Flyer 60 is 1.52 m wide, while the Flyer 72 is 1.83 m wide. The last mentioned has more internal space. Otherwise these versions are similar and use the same automotive components.

   This special forces vehicle has multiple crew configurations. It can be rapidly reconfigured in the field to meet various mission requirements.

   Up to 80% of the Flyer's automotive components, including engine and powertrain, are used by HMMWVs or commercially available. Its 1.9-liter turbocharged diesel engine develops 195 hp. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Vehicle has a selectable 4x2 or 4x4 configuration. It can be fitted with a self-recovery winch.

   From the earliest stage the Flyer was designed as an airportable vehicle. It can be airlifted both internally or externally by a CH-47 Chinook, larger military helicopters, or V-22 Osprey tiltrotor transport. The Flyer can be carried externally even by a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. This special forces vehicle can be airlifted by a C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft. After exiting the aircraft it is ready for battle in less than one minute.

 

Variants

 

 

   Flyer-72 is a baseline version, used by the US SOCOM. Number "72" in the designation denotes vehicle width in inches (1.83 m). It can be configured to transport up to 9 soldiers. 3 seats are at the front, 3 at the rear, 2 at the rear deck, plus 1 gunner seat. Driver is seated in the middle. For medical evacuation role the Flyer-72 can carry up to 5 litters. This vehicle was adopted as the M1288.

   Flyer-60 is a narrower version. Number "60" in the designation denotes vehicle width in inches (1.52 m). In 2013 the US SOCOM awarded General Dynamics a contract to produce a small batch of narrower Flyers. It uses the same engine, suspension, transmission and electrical systems as the baseline Flyer-72. This vehicle accommodates driver and 3 passengers. Add-on armor package was developed for this vehicle. It provides some degree of protection against direct fire, artillery shell splinters, landmines and improvised explosive devices.

   M1297 is a Flyer adopted by the US Army to support 5 airborne brigade combat teams. Production contract was awarded in 2018. It is similar to the M1288 vehicle used by the US SOCOM. In fact these vehicles share 90% of their parts.

 

 

 
Flyer

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