Ricardo has a longstanding and well-deserved reputation for the creation of high quality, cost-effective special vehicles for the world’s armed forces, based both on bespoke concepts and on the adaptation of existing automotive platforms to meet the required level of robustness and in-field serviceability. The company was responsible, for example, for the design and construction of a fleet of WMIK light attack Land Rovers and the all-new Foxhound vehicles, both of which are in successful ongoing use by the British Army.
Ricardo’s modification/adaptation demonstrates a militarized adaptation of Ford’s Ranger product, to show how this workhorse of industries from construction to agriculture can offer a highly cost-effective multi-role transportation product for defense and other security-related applications. The general service Ranger concept created by Ricardo is intended to be available with a range of powertrain options, including Ford’s powerful and refined 213 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue Bi-turbo diesel powertrain, which produces 500 Nm of torque for excellent load-hauling capability. This is mated to an advanced new 10-speed automatic transmission for easy, economical driving.
Key features of the adaptation designed by Ricardo include options for a rollover protection system; a ring mounted weapon system, similar to that used in the WMIK; an armored ballistic underfloor and armored glass; lightweight but heavy-duty front and rear bumpers; skid plates for the radiator, powertrain and fuel tank; rock sliders and improved wading/fording protection; NATO IRR paint/camouflage and 4-point seat harnesses. In addition, the 24V electrical system is enhanced to provide the power requirements and EMC protection expected of modern defense vehicle applications, and the chassis can be equipped with upgraded springs, dampers, brakes, heavy-duty wheels and all-terrain tires, offering greater ride height and more versatile towing capacity. In delivering this project Ricardo has worked closely with Polaris Government and Defense, in particular for support in the areas of onboard power management and C4i (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence) integration.
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