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Off-Road Prototype Vehicles Tested in Afghanistan

Jun 09, 2008
BY Sgt. 1st Class Mark Swart

Jun 09, 2008
BY Sgt. Jessica L. Sheldon

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan (Army News Service June 9, 2008) - Recently, Soldiers from Combined Task Force Currahee test drove a new vehicle that could help alleviate maneuverability constraints in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is a country made of natural barriers like mountains and valleys, which make it difficult for Coalition forces to move through the countryside.

The Enhanced Logistic Off-Road Vehicle may be the answer to navigating Afghanistan's rugged terrain.

"This vehicle was brought on as an operation need," said Charlie Copsey, one of the engineers that built the ELSORV. "Rapid Equipment Force funded the building of the prototypes."

Three prototypes are currently being tested. The terrain in Afghanistan is made up of rocks, which make supply routes, evacuation and basic ground transportation difficult and slow.

All three prototypes are currently in Afghanistan so Soldiers can learn how they handle in the terrain. Over the last year, the ELSORVs went through operational assessments in the U.S. and now they are here for a real-world assessment by Soldiers who could end up using the vehicles.

"The ELSORV is unlike any other military vehicle I've driven, it goes where ever you want it to go," said Sgt. Lance Davis, one of the test drivers.

According to Copsey, ELSORVs can carry 2,700 pounds, and have modified Humvee engines that can conquer approach angles of 90 degrees and climb slopes at 80 degrees.

"As long as they have power going to one of the wheels, they're going to stay mobile," said Copsey.

The ELSORVs allows Soldiers to go over obstacles without getting hung up on the undercarriage. The vehicle can go 90 miles per hour safely on a hard surface.

"The best place for these vehicles is here in Afghanistan," said Davis.

(Sgt. Jessica L. Sheldon serves with the 382nd Public Affairs Detachment)

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