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Monday 16 September 2019

World's toughest trucks for Rangers

Don Lavery Exclusive

A French company that makes some of the world's toughest trucks has won an order worth nearly €600,000 for vehicles to support Ireland's elite Army Ranger Wing.

The Rangers -- who have been used on United Nations-mandated missions in some of the world's worst trouble spots, ranging from the jungles of Liberia to the deserts of Chad -- needed special vehicles to support their humanitarian operations.

The secretive force uses around a dozen modified Ford F-350 Special Reconnaissance Vehicles heavily armed with machine guns and grenade launchers for patrolling but needed a larger vehicle to resupply them.

Two companies applied for the contract, which has been won by Acmat of France, whose legendary military trucks are used by a variety of forces, including the French Foreign Legion.

The Saint Nazaire company is to provide three 4X4 trucks costing €587,103, which will be used to supply Ranger vehicles and troops with food, water, ammunition, fuel and other essentials on long-range patrols.

The trucks, called tactical support vehicles, will be able to carry a five-tonne payload, tow a 10-tonne trailer, carry a machine gun for self defence, and be air transportable.

Acmat VLRA trucks were previously used by the Irish Defence Forces in the 1990S in a variety of roles, including towing artillery pieces, but have now been retired.

Sunday Independent

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