IDEX 2019: Polaris displays its multi-mission MRZR X vehicle

Polaris Government and Defense, a division of United States-based Polaris Industries Inc., is showcasing its MRZR X multi-mode vehicle platform internationally at IDEX 2019.

IDEX 2019 Polaris displays its multi mission MRZR X vehicle
Polaris MRZR X at IDEX 2019 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

“Autonomous systems are disrupting the status quo and shaping the way we will do battle in the future. The MRZR X is a transformative vehicle because it is optionally manned and can fulfill its current mission to move at the speed of maneuver with a driver or act as a robotic mule to carry mission equipment and soldiers’ loads,” said Jed Leonard, vice president, Polaris Government and Defense. “This ability to both drive the vehicle and still have dismounted control of a robotic platform provides great mission capability and operation flexibility.”

The MRZR X is designed for future flexibility, with Modular Robotic Applique Kits (M-RAKs) from Applied Research Associates Inc (ARA). ARA has been producing M-RAKs for more than 20 years, with a specialty in off-road robotics, further enhanced by the acquisition of Neya Systems. The advanced MRZR X fully integrates the autonomy systems and optimally places the sensors to safeguard the technology while keeping the physical and software architecture open for future technology upgrades. The vehicle’s hybrid drivetrain is powerful and reliable, allowing for export power, longer missions, high speeds and silent drive when needed – all on the very familiar, sustainable and intuitive MRZR platform.

As Army Recognition was explained by a Polaris/ARA reprsentative, the U.S. Army currently uses the vehicle in a 80%-manned, 20%-unmanned proportion. Users are advised to drive the vehicle when crossing water obstacles. When the vehicle is driven by a user, the average speed usually turns around 30 mph; when it is unmanned, the practical speed turns around 5-10 mph. The more performances in unmanned configuration the Army rquires, the more sensors and cameras are needed to avoid obstacles and enable a wider array of missions.

The MRZR X is currently undergoing field trials in a squad integration evaluation with the U.S. Army as part of the Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) program. The user/testing units should present a user report by forthcoming April. The four remaining competitors are naturally waiting for this report with an easily understable interest. The U.K. Ministry of Defence also included the vehicle in its December Army Warfare Experiment (AWE), further proving its viability as a support vehicle.

Polaris Government and Defense is also displaying the Dagor and MRZR Diesel vehicle platforms. The Polaris family of vehicles helps address the continued need within light infantry and special operations forces for ultra-light, off-road mobility: from the single passenger MV850 all-terrain vehicle, to the two and four passenger MRZR lightweight tactical all-terrain vehicle, up to the Dagor ultra-light vehicle, which can carry up to nine warfighters and their gear, for a total payload of up to 4,000 pounds (1,814 kilograms). These vehicles meet challenging sets of requirements to be extremely off-road capable at full payload while maintaining ease of transportability with tactical air assets.

Polaris vehicles also use readily available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) driveline, controls and components to streamline mechanic and operator training, and for simplified operation, maintenance and sustainment in support of combat operations.

The Polaris dealer-distributor network in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region provides full lifecycle support to the region’s militaries and security forces. It is complemented by several FSR sites that, together, provide dedicated and responsive in-country parts supply and service. The company’s dealer-distributor network in EMEA specifically includes key dealers that serve government customers in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan, Turkey, Tunisia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.