M-Gator and R-Gator – the way forward


M-Gator in Iraq

 

If nothing else, the security of airfields, commercial buildings, industrial plant, and military bases has come under increasing threat in the last few years. How to meet those threats, without exposing security or other personnel to increased risk, has become a major problem.

John Deere, the well known manufacturer of tractors and agricultural equipment, has come up with an elegant solution. They have taken one of the members of their Gator series of off-road vehicles, and turned it into a most effective military re-supply and utility machine.

The M-Gator, as it is known, is powered by an efficient 3-cylinder diesel engine and has already seen service with the US Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as being used by Canadian Armed Forces in the latter country. There is a litter support frame fixed to the vehicle hood, and as well as evacuating casualties, the Gator is a nimble off-road supply vehicle in rough country. 

However, the story does not stop there. The Gator has now been turned into an autonomous UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle), the R-Gator. The R-Gator can be controlled by an operator, remotely, or programmed to follow a pre-arranged path to and from a target location, carrying many types of loads – it can, of course, be driven normally by the flick of a switch.  The R-Gator is equipped with a range of sensors, which enables it to act as a silent sentinel on military reservations, large industrial plants and other high value targets, yet retain a patrol facility.

Here you can see an M-Gator being loaded onto a USAF C-130 Hercules aircraft at Sather Air Base, Iraq on its way to Basra.

This vehicle, especially in its R-Gator form, has an exceptionally bright future ahead. It is an idea who’s time has come.

http://www.deere.com/en_US/contractsales/fedmilitarysales/cce/r_gator/r_gator.html

Image courtesy of Wikipedia: –

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6d/M-Gator.jpg/180px-M-Gator.jpg&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Deere_Gator&usg=__NJiHG0iHc-M8TKd-Rc3qPTHjB7Y=&h=120&w=180&sz=8&hl=en&start=33&tbnid=QIKZHe3R6VTcGM:&tbnh=67&tbnw=101&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dr-gator%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D20

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