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Eurosatory 2018: ASC International FZE displays Hornet Special Operations Vehicle.


| 2018

ASC International FZE, based in the United Arab Emirates, displayed its Toyota Land Cruiser-based special operations vehicle (SOV) named Hornet. Lorne Stoddart, its designer and the man in charge of the company’s business development, worked several years for Jankel, whose Fox has been bought by the Belgian army for its special forces. So, he knew what criteria are relevant for a somehow light vehicle dedicated to special forces.


Eurosatory 2018 ASC International FZE displays Hornet Special Operations Vehicle
ASC International's Hornet is to be considered as a successor to similar vehicles traditionally built on Land Rover Defender or Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen platforms (Picture source: Army Recognition)


Lorne Stoddart has developed a vehicle to be considered as a successor to similar vehicles traditionally built on Land Rover Defender or Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen platforms. Observing how special forces vehicles are used and on what kind of soils they most often have to drive, he chose to stress on low ground pressure, and neglect air transportability by CH-47 Chinook helicopter, the latter constraint having led to the Defenture bought for the Dutch special forces, and the Jankel Fox for the Belgian special forces. Indeed, the CH-47 requirement imposes very demanding width and height requirements which severely limit the tactical mobility and capability of the vehicle on the ground and compromises internal ergonomics and roll-over protection of the tubular frame system.

By disposing of this requirement, ASC International can work with customers who do not require CH-47 internal transportability and “unlock” the full on-the-ground operational potential of vehicles of this type. So, the Hornet is available as 4x4 (3 to 4 crew) or 6x6 (6 crew or additional load). Notice that the Hornet can be CH-47 underslung and transported inside a C-130 Hercules or any comparable airlifter.

With internal CH-47 Chinook transportability removed from the specification which crucially limits vehicle width and height, the Hornet offers the user an enhanced ground mobility by using wider and taller tires, which increases tire footprint and thus reduces ground pressure; it also increases the severity of terrain that can be used; it raises level of crew comfort. Many vehicles are equipped with a central tire inflation system. Lorne Stoddart chose another system, much easier to make and maintain, using a long external spiral hose for each of the tires, avoiding a more sophisticated internal mechanism at each wheel.

Two different diesel engines (2.4 Euro 6 developing 177 hp, and 2,8 Euro 4 developing 240hp), and one 4,0 gasoline engine (developing 235 hp) are available, following the customer’s requirement.

The empty weight of the Hornet is 2,350 kg and its maximum payload 2,150 kg, which means a maximum gross weight of 4,500 kg.


 

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