The US Marine Corps (USMC) is upgrading the utility task vehicles (UTVs) to deliver improved performance and safety to the platforms.

Engineers from the Program Executive Officer Land Systems’ Light Tactical Vehicle programme office are incorporating feedback from marines to deliver the upgrades.

New enhancements include run-flat tires, high clearance control arms, a clutch improvement kit, floorboard protection, road march kit and environmental protection cover.

The engineers are researching, testing and executing the improvements to ensure the UTV meets the requirements of the USMC.

PEO Land Systems UTV lead systems engineer Jason Engstrom said: “We bought the vehicle as a commercial-off-the-shelf solution, so it’s not going to have everything we want right from the factory.

“Even though we’re in the operations, maintenance and sustainment phases with the vehicle, it’s such a new vehicle and we’re seeing marines constantly push the limits of the truck.”

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The PEO started fielding the vehicle in 2017. Installation of the high clearance control arms is aimed at addressing the problem of control arms bending due to rocks in the driving areas.

UTV logistician Rodney Smith stated that a damaged control arm can disable the UTV.

The new control arm provides an extra 2.5in of clearance to allow marines to drive confidently in terrains laden with rocks.

The upgrade to the vehicle’s floorboard will prevent punctures caused by sticks and branches on the ground. A new protection cover will also offer protection to the marines from heat.