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Boeing Built Marines an Osprey Jeep with NASCAR Connection

by Richard Sisk on April 8, 2014

Phantom Badger 1One of the drawbacks of the Marines’ MV-22 Osprey has been its inability to take aboard an all-terrain, multi-role combat vehicle and deliver it to the fight.

The vehicle would have to be only five-feet wide to fit the tight confines of the tilt-rotor aircraft and also have enough power to handle the 60 percent grade of the off-on ramp.

“It was a square peg in a round hole thing,” said Garrett Kasper, a spokesman for Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft. “Those have been the limiting factors.”

Boeing and MSI Defense Solutions, of Mooresville, N.C., have developed the Phantom Badger Internally Transportable Vehicle as a solution to the Marines’ problem. MSI Defense Solutions worked with NASCAR teams before it started working with the Pentagon.

The 60-inch wide Badger has a 240 horsepower multi-fuel engine, can ford 3 feet of water and can hit 80 mph on paved roads, according to the manufacturers.  The vehicle is a much easier fit into the more spacious cabins of the CH-47, the C-130 and the C-17.

The Badger also features four-wheel steering, giving it a 24-foot turn radius. With the flip of a dashboard switch, both front and rear wheels can be steered.

Boeing played up the modularity of the Badger that would allow it to be configured for a range of missions, including reconnaissance, explosive ordnance disposal, mounted weaponry, and combat search and rescue.

In the rescue mission, the Badger can be fitted with as many as six litters, Kasper said. The modules can be switched out in about an hour with simple tools to handle six bolts on the reach chassis, Kasper said.

Another feature was easy maintenance. “Many key items like tires, hydraulic pumps, bolts, and winches are already in the motor pool supply system,” Boeing said.

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

jack April 8, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Let me guess….it will only cost the taxpayers 1 million per copy.


Chuang Shyue Chou April 8, 2014 at 10:53 pm

One would think that the old M151 and M38 with uprated engines would meet this requirement.


peters April 9, 2014 at 12:31 am

only 1 million per copy? in your dreams.

try 5 or 6 million per copy after development and maintenance cost.


tmb2 April 8, 2014 at 4:05 pm

No mention of the M1161 and M1163? They're $200k jeeps built to carry a mortar system and other odds and ends on the V-22. The Corps has had them for a few years.


blight_ April 8, 2014 at 8:12 pm

That's okay, they can sink them to make reefs and buy more vehicles. Hoorah!

The inspector general report said that the average cost of a single Growler has risen 120 percent, from about $94,000 when the contract was awarded in 2004 to $209,000 in 2008. The unit cost for the vehicle with mortar and ammunition trailer has grown 86 percent, from $579,000 to $1,078,000.

The first six mortar and ammunition systems have been sent to Marine units, as have about 20 ITVs. "It is up to unit commanders who receive them as to whether they will take them when deployed abroad," Garner said.
Troubles with the two systems started in 2004 during the final competition between two bidders for the vehicle contract. One bidder was a team of the giant defense contractor General Dynamics Corp. and a small company called American Growler Inc. of Ocala, Fla., known primarily for building a successful dune buggy using surplus, customized Army M151A2s, a popular version of the military jeep. The other was a contractor in Michigan called Rae-Beck Automotive LLC, which built a popular neighborhood electric car.

By choosing General Dynamics and American Growler, the Marines were able to procure an existing vehicle that was equipped with components that could be purchased "off the shelf," avoiding costs of research and developing an entirely new vehicle. While the Rae-Beck entry was found to be superior in some tests, the Growler, according to Garner, was better "in the most important ones."

But after the contract was awarded, Garner said, "there were significant additions made for capability." For example, an air suspension had to be added to allow the Growler to get on and off the Osprey because it could raise and lower its height. The makers added a new cooling system, power steering and power brakes, along with a beefed-up General Motors engine similar to the one used in the GMC Yukon. Altogether, Garner said, about $50,000 of the cost growth was in additional off-the-shelf items that now permit the Growler to travel up to 45 mph on a highway.


Lance April 8, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Strange all the talk of BIG HUMVEEs and JLTVs and yet most operators prefer a small tactical vehicle like the GROWLER or Jeep. M-151 FAV and its evolved cousins live again and keeps living in SOCOM.


majr0d April 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm

"most operators prefer a small tactical vehicle like the GROWLER or Jeep. M-151 FAV

Evidence? References? Documentation?


JimV April 9, 2014 at 5:15 am

Get in, get the job done, get out — better to go with small and quick low profile vehicles than our failed 'ducks in a shooting gallery' lumbering IED magnets — all of this is in line with the agile, keep them guessing Styker doctrine shelved when politicians butted into warfighting doctrine. For evidence, see vehicles of choice for those with the most combat experience; references – former LRRP here, and for documentation see Stryker doctrine and all related docs.


majr0d April 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Jim – I'm pretty familiar with the vehicles of choice for many SOF units. You do realize the Ranger Regiment now has Strykers and even CAG (Delta) has used them to insert on raids. Then there are multitude of MRAPs (not small or light vehicles) being used by special forces and again included in the Ranger Reg't's TOE.

Small vehicles are nice but it all depends on the enemy and the situation. Stryker doctrine says nothing about SOF vehicle choices.


Lance April 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Sorry that's for the war were in Afghanistan were BIG vehicles along with regular units are easily used. In many the need for a fast attack they don't want a tank like car that can be seen miles way to be used.

Mark April 9, 2014 at 5:30 am

The Jankel Pegasus SOV J8 fits the need and the specs perfectly. http://www.jankel.com/pegasus-special-operations-


JohnnyRanger April 9, 2014 at 9:43 am

Too wide by a long shot.


blight_ April 9, 2014 at 10:37 am

Humvee isn't even that big…compared to an MRAP.

If not occupying a foreign nation prone to laying IEDs, the Humvee will do just fine. Lightweight jeeps are fine too, but the Humvee was originally sized to carry more stuff than older jeeps without excessively compromising offroad capability. Pretty sure an M151 couldn't be uparmored, or carry a CROWS, or mount an Avenger turret. Some things just require a larger vehicle, and some things don't need the larger vehicle.

I'm beginning to wonder why the Osprey was not sized to carry vehicles in the first place, instead of inventing this requirement after the fact. It won't be long until a bigger Osprey is developed, similar to how the CH-47 grew out of the CH-46.


Lance April 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Strange than why SOCOM keeps buying M-151 parts and based vehicles than.


tmb2 April 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm

SOCOM is a niche market with vastly different mission sets than the rest of the Army or the Corps.


dlk April 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm

The USMC developed the M422 Mighty Mite in the last millennium…..but it probably was not expensive enough to use today.


Chris Lyon April 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Why not use Polaris Rangers or other off the shelf utv.


majr0d April 8, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Not expensive enough and they didn't have a desert tan paint job.


Clint Notestine April 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm

come on man you cant be all tactical in one of those… plus not 4 wheel donuts


JCitizen April 9, 2014 at 11:46 am

I don't know – I've never had trouble mounting a Ma Deuce on one! They make 'em with big old rock climber wheels if your order them that way. It is hard to believe they've reached plus or minus 20,000 MSRP though in the civilian market!


tiger April 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Not a bad idea…


S O April 8, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Boeing. Ridiculous.

Only idiots would give Boeing a contract for a couple dozen or few hundred offroad cars. There are much better, small companies which -while still making much profit – would produce a much cheaper vehicle.

And this wasn't the first attempt to build or buy such a thing. There were the miniature Jeep-lookalikes which suddenly costed ten times the COTS price once painted in green. There were the G-Wagons. There was the RST-V gold plates Rube Goldberg machine.

They should have bought a decent helicopter.


peters April 9, 2014 at 12:36 am

what's the size of the lobbying group and lawyers for those small companies compared to that for Boeing? how do they compare in terms of connections to corrupt Congressmen in Washington D.C.?


wombat April 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm

"corrupt congressmen" Isn't that redundant?


Log Analyst April 9, 2014 at 6:45 pm

The problem when the V-22 was designed and contracted was the government in its infinite wisdom (as usual) spoke before they knew what they needed. They knew the needed to replace the 46 and contracted the V-22 cabin to the same dimensions as the 46. It wasn't until after the design had been determined that the Corps realized that it wasn't going to be able to fit the HUMVEE. It could have been redesigned but the cost to go back to the drawing board would have ended the program which was badly needed. The 46 was just plain worn out, and the molds for replacement parts were destroyed after they had fulfilled their purchased requirements. Look at the Army with the blunders they have made, Commanche, ARH, OH-58F, and they have cancled them all. When will they learn……….


Ben April 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm

That steering. We've taken our first step towards realizing a Halo Warthog. Perhaps Boeing should have named it the Piglet.


Mike Stith April 8, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Love it. Great idea must copyright it.


S O April 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Plenty off-road cars from the 30's were steering with all four wheels, were complicated and heavy.

Eventually, the best off-road car of WW2 was the Type 82 Kübelwagen, essentially an early Beetle with military style body, smooth underbelly, differential lock and a gearbox capable of driving at walking pace. It was about as useful as a Willy's Overland Jeep at half the weight, power, thirst and presumably half the overall expense. And it was almost unstoppable off-road, recovery was possible with mere manpower because of the light weight. The post-war result was the creation of the original dune buggys based on the concept of lightweight 4×2 going offroad.


Clint Notestine April 8, 2014 at 8:43 pm

some newer trucks have a slight rear steer action


William_C1 April 8, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Well on the positive side there is no way they could possibly make this as expensive as the Marine's current ITV.


Kostas April 9, 2014 at 12:08 am

Really? 70 years after WWII we came up with a vehicle with the same capabilities as the jeep?

If this vehicle is intended for any kind of combat mission, then it seems that the hard lessons we learned in Somalia, Afstan and Iraq with the non-armored vehicles are forgotten. We might have to suffer some additional thousands of casualties for the geniuses to realize that for combat missions you need ARMORED vehicles.


Godzilla April 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm

If they added any real armor to it the Osprey would no longer by able to carry it. I guess that was the problem.


LtKitty April 9, 2014 at 1:51 am

Might just be my arm chair general, scifi mind cranked to 11, but why not have a V-22-type or quad rotor carryall that can reliably pick up tanks, armored vehicles, supplies, etc? Perhaps some sort of claw that can quickly grip a SUV-sized object. Certainly a system that can do this isn't outside the realm of possibility.


engineer April 9, 2014 at 6:35 am

It’s called Joint Heavy Lift (JHL).
But it would not fit nicely on an mphibious landig ship. the MV-22 is about the largest platform that can fold to CH-53 size.


tmb2 April 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Realm of possible, sure. Affordable within a realistic timeframe and budget, not any time soon. The V-22 is a medium-lift bird and carries at most 20,000 pounds. The heaviest helicopter we have can carry about 30,000 pounds which eliminates pretty much all of our armored vehicles. A V-22 styled lifter is on the drawing board, but the size and power required to lift an IFV isn't there yet.


Mark April 9, 2014 at 5:23 am

Phantom Badger Internally Transportable Vehicle is NOT a Jeep.
There's only one Jeep and this vehicle is NOT a Jeep!


'Nam Marine April 11, 2014 at 8:36 am

The so called Jeep of today is only a jeep in name. Nothing like the GPs in combat in W.W. II and Korea theaters. The M-151 and so on killed the Jeep forever in the military.


PostwarVandal April 9, 2014 at 7:53 am

"…can be fitted with as many as six litters"
That's a lot of cats…


blight_ April 9, 2014 at 8:33 am

I suppose they meant stretchers, but this is a pretty funny one too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Litter_(vehicle)


Bernard April 9, 2014 at 9:42 am

I can't imagine 6 human bodies on the back of that thing. That can't be safe.


Hunter76 April 9, 2014 at 8:54 am

This cart has no business in a serious fight. An AK would tear it to shreds. If you need a light attack force, go with Special Forces or SEALS and their dune buggies. By buying into the MV22 paradigm, by which they can't use any fighting vehicles, the Marines are transforming themselves into a light infantry, which will face increasingly tough going at budget times.


hibeam April 9, 2014 at 9:10 am

Why not pound everything down below into a whiskery red mist with drones and leave the Osprey's and the jeeps and the ground pounders safe at home?


Ben April 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Political fallout, devaluing of human life, and the desensitization to killing/war. It's a huge ethical issue. Not to mention the fact that drones aren't known for their great ability to distinguish enemies from civilians.


tiger April 10, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Obama seems to be taking your advice……


JWH September 1, 2014 at 9:48 am

"Drones" cannot seize and hold terrain.


nvsmithers April 9, 2014 at 9:35 am

"MSI Defense Solutions worked with NASCAR teams before it started working with the Pentagon."

So what did they work with NASCAR teams on? You can change the tires and put fuel it in less than 14 seconds?


sailor12 April 9, 2014 at 10:27 am

Another waist of tax payer money for a toy that they want.


chikiteri April 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

Didn't GD win both USMC and SOCOM ITV contract?

Boeing solution was not NAVAIR certified (but they are the Boeing so they probably won't care)


blight_ April 9, 2014 at 10:38 am

I'm surprised nobody seized up on the modules business.

"Boeing played up the modularity of the Badger that would allow it to be configured for a range of missions, including reconnaissance, explosive ordnance disposal, mounted weaponry, and combat search and rescue.
In the rescue mission, the Badger can be fitted with as many as six litters, Kasper said. The modules can be switched out in about an hour with simple tools to handle six bolts on the reach chassis, Kasper said."

When have we heard "rapidly switchable modules" before…ha ha.


blight_ April 9, 2014 at 10:40 am


In October 2014[sic?] the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) disclosed that it had chosen the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD OTS) Flyer Advanced Light Strike Vehicle (ALSV) over the Phantom Badger for its V-22 Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV) contract.


Tad April 9, 2014 at 11:06 am

This seems backwards to me. Shouldn't one develop vehicles that meet one's tactical needs (I assume things like the HMMWV started out that way), then develop an aircraft that can transport those vehicles? Why was the V22 developed in the first place if it cannot transport standard US military tactical vehicles? Strictly as a troop transport? Probably a whole bunch of historical reasons for how things have worked out, I guess.


Justin April 9, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Well since we’ve already got bolts and tires that will fit this MUST be a good deal.

The fact that a spokesperson was willing to stand there and say “many” parts are already on hand, and include in that litany of items things like bolts, tires, and winches… which I’m pretty sure can be made to fit any vehicle…. And actually be serious shows how ignorant these companies have become. Here’s a crazy idea: why not build the damn aircraft wide enough to accommodate existing vehicles. Since you were building an aircraft and all. But this way you get to build TWO things for the military to buy. Well played.


Blake April 9, 2014 at 1:38 pm


I think you are all being too judgmental.
After all, it was build with the help of NASCAR. Lol


Blake April 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm

A custom vehicle for their custom aircraft …
Doesn't sound like a pyramid scheme at all.


Bennett April 9, 2014 at 2:10 pm
leo April 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm

they have to spend tax anyway because that is their job


caroll sickles April 11, 2014 at 8:41 pm

I am driving a 1967 M151A1. still very capable, light and cheap


indianmedicine April 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

I don't see these as being demanded in the high numbers that would be required to equip a large maneuver element, but would be reduced in numbers to provide Specialized Command needs within the design roles.

I believe this vehicle would have Good Purpose within the USMC SPEC-OPS Community for insertion and movement to target and/or MSS Purpose.

Many are unaware the it was the USMC that "Wrote The Book" on "Small War's" from its experience in the Pacific Theater back in the day – which is the Foundation for the Multiple Services in their contribution to to LIC/UW/DA Missions.

So, if we can keep a Committee from Design Over Load, I see the USMC being a "Happy Camper" with this – with "Cost Effectiveness" in mind.

-De Oppresso Liber- Non Gratum Anus Rodentum-


Andy April 9, 2014 at 5:39 pm

I looked couldn't determine what these are supposed to cost us
tax payers, but with Boeing involved you can bet it's sure got to be
more than a Porsche 911 costs and not nearly as stable as one


us army 1959 April 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm

more B S And a waste of money we the people don't have.


Baker April 10, 2014 at 1:15 am

Looks like a pretty nice vehicle. But this Commando is a real Jeep – http://www.commandousa.com


John Moore April 10, 2014 at 5:29 pm

What is the unload time once the ov-22 is on the ground in a combat mode? I can see the load master standing out there waving the vehicle out of the OV-22.
What in the hell was this hill climb up on a mat of some kind. Are they going to carry mats with them in combat so they can lay them out of the hill that the vehicle has to go up. Show me this thing going up a sand dune in a desert or a hill in lets say a country like Afghanistan something that is real. Not a hard dirt road that was show in this video. This was a bunch of crap for testing this vehicle in my book. I can see my self taking fire and running around in circles around a pile of rock. I know you need a vehicle that will turn in a short space but make it real.

Show me what it can do on rough ground where you are taking fire and you are in the bug out mode not out for a Sunday drive. Your test video didn’t show me much of anything


Erlinda June 29, 2014 at 6:50 am

Asking questions are in faft nice thing if you are noot understanding anything completely, however this paragraph presents fastidious unnderstanding even.


Zspoier August 13, 2014 at 1:25 am

And you wonder what happened to all them M-151 Jeeps


Tiger August 13, 2014 at 5:09 am

Scraped years ago.


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