The Navy has certified a 240-horsepower combat support vehicle that’s small enough to fit inside a V-22 Osprey.
The Phantom Badger can carry a .50-caliber machine gun or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher bolted to the roll cage, according to Wired, while the rear-facing seats can be equipped with machine guns or replaced with hardware to support resupply or medevac duties.
The vehicle, which looks a lot like a squished Humvee, was developed by Boeing Phantom Works with an assist from Motorsport Innovations. Those guys are known more for their work on the racetrack than the battlefield, and helped Boeing develop an adjustable suspension system tough enough for the rigors of battle. Together they engineered a four-wheel steering system that gives the Badger a 24-foot turning radius.
The vehicle is just 60-inches wide, and it was designed to fit in the cargo hold of a V-22 Osprey—a tilt-rotor aircraft so narrow the Pentagon doesn’t have a ground support vehicle that fits inside it. The CH-47 Chinook helicopter and the C-130 cargo plane can carry two Badgers apiece, while the C-17 transport plane can carry 10.
The Badger had completed 5,000 miles of testing over a wide variety of terrain and has been successfully dropped from a C-17.
Read more at Wired.