R/€ = 14.90
R/$ = 10.73
Au 1339.50 $/oz
Pt 1482.00 $/oz
Feb 21, 2003
Counter-terrorism vehicles in demandBack
Detroit|Chrysler|DaimlerChrysler|Ford|General Motors|GM|GM Defence|Motors|Naturalisation Service|US Marine Corp|Canada|United States|US Border|Motors|Secret Services|Army|Army’s NationalnAutomotive Centre|Department Of State|Federal Bureau Of Investigation|NationalnAutomotive Centre|United States Army|US Administration|US’snMilitary|Bernard Robertson|Dennis Wend|George Baker|James Bond-like|Motors|Chevrolet Silverado|Michigan|Pennsylvania|Virginia|“ThesenTechnologies|Fuel Cells
© Reuse this The US administration is in advanced talks with Detroit’s ‘big three’ motor-vehicle makers as well as with the US army over production of a new generation of vehicles designed for counter-terrorism, protecting US diplomatic missions abroad and homeland defence.
Various agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the secret services and State Department are interested in a prototype vehicle called the SmarTruck, which features crowd-dispersing pepper sprays, high-voltage door handles and a ‘weapons station’ that emerges from the vehicle’s roof at the touch of a button.
The vehicle has been developed by the army’s National Automotive Centre (NAC), which links the military with civilian industry, academic research and the government of the US in developing technology, such as fuel cells, for both commercial and military use.
Dennis Wend, executive director of the Michigan-based agency, said that the SmarTruck – which the NAC describes as ‘the army’s James Bond-like concept vehicle’ – had been under development before the terrorist attacks on the US on September 11.
However, it had “taken on a life of its own as a counter-terrorism vehicle” since then. “These technologies had better be ready when called upon,” he said.
The development is part of a re-assessment of the US’s military’s capacity to fight in distant theatres of war and of the country’s ability to mount counter-terrorist operations along its borders.
“There are agencies that needs sedans with enhanced capabilities.
“They need trucks that have modules to assist them in reacting to situations like the one on September 11, 2001.
“It could be thousands of vehicles,” said George Baker, director of GM Defence, a division of General Motors.
The discussions have taken collaboration between Detroit and the military back to levels not seen for half a century, when GM, Ford and Chrysler – now part of DaimlerChrysler – turned their factories over to the production of tanks.
“The big three are showing their patriotism. “I guess it’s back to the way it was in the World War II,” said Wend.
It was not clear when any firm orders for vehicles could emerge, but the border patrol division of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service has bought six prototypes of a vehicle developed by GM for patrolling the US border with Canada.
Government officials had their first chance to inspect a range of prototypes a few weeks ago at a US Marine Corp base in Virginia. The prototypes included a ‘dune buggy’ designed for long-range desert reconnaissance.
There is also interest in a heat-resistant fire truck capable of approaching a burning, crashed airliner – a result of the failure of conventional equipment to reach the hijacked airliner that crashed in Pennsylvania in 2001.
In a sign of the urgency of the discussions, the government has asked Detroit to find ways to reduce the time it takes to develop vehicles, according to Bernard Robertson, senior vice-president of government relations at DaimlerChrysler. “We are trying to be responsive to that interest,” declared Robertson. SmarTruck II is one such recent development. It is a three-axle Chevrolet Silverado pick-up adapted for multiple use in warfare, and which got the name SmarTruck II. In this case the mighty Xenon-floodlight is on the roof of the cabin while in the back part of the vehicle up to forty laser-guided missiles can be placed.
The police and the army are getting a weapon for varied applications and with a possibility to change the whole structure in a short time of one hour.
SmarTruck II can be used with advantage for fighting in urban areas, in chemical and biological warfare or as a mobile power station – to mention just some of its uses.
The newly-developed SmarTruck II is like a Swiss pocket-knife changed into a vehicle – all in one. Just the color will be different – khaki or black – instead of red or silver, but who knows.
The engine has an output of 350 HP, stroke volume is 6 498 cubic cm. The only information about the price of SmarTruck II is that it starts from $100 000 and weapons installed on it can be from $35 000 to $350 000.
Edited by: Karel Smrcka© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Commercial Vehicles News
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
This Week's Magazine
A structured approach, wherein managers personally engage at each level of the project, is necessary to mitigate delays to the workflow on mega construction projects, says State-owned Eskom Kusile power station projects GM Abram Masango. The 4 800 MW Kusile power...
Construction of transmission lines to evacuate power from a regional hydroelectric project in East Africa, which was hanging on the balance following the withdrawal of financing by key partners, is now back on track. After six months of uncertainty, the African...
Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between South African and Malaysian companies at the Malaysian High Commission in Pretoria on Friday. These MoUs are part of the indirect offsets programme South Africa is providing in return for Malaysia’s...
The South African new vehicle market may well dip to 640 000 units in 2014, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) sales and marketing senior VP Calvyn Hamman. This is the first prediction that anticipates a drop in the market. To date economists and industry bodies...
Nissan will re-enter the South African minibus taxi industry in March, when the new NV350 Impendulo goes on sale. The 16-seater has been specifically tailored to meet the terms of government’s Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, which aims to replace South Africa’s...