Royal Marines

Amazing first-hand views as Royal Marines learn to drive MRZR Light Strike Vehicle

Royal Marines have tested a new light strike vehicle that could be used to take personnel deep into enemy territory.

The Commandos trained in the MRZR-D4 vehicles at Braunton Burrows, Devon – one of the largest sand dune systems in the UK.

And as Royal Marines move to work in light strike teams with a smaller footprint, the MRZR could be used to take recce groups, snipers or heavy weapons teams into hard-to-reach places.

One Royal Marine Mobility Instructor told Forces News that while Royal Marines are notorious for walking everywhere with all their equipment, the increased operational capacity of other nations has forced them to "match them".

"So, therefore, instead of walking for miles and miles and miles, we can now employ lightweight mobility assets to carry us as a team," the instructor said.

"Now, if you put that into mortar teams, recce teams, heavy weapons teams with the multi-skilled Royal Marines that we have nowadays, you're putting quite lethal assets in lots of… normally difficult places to put them." 

Watch: Future Commandos – Why the Royal Marines are changing.

It is also ideal for the raiding missions Royal Marines are now focusing on as part of the Future Commando Force.

While the MRZRs lack the armour and carrying ability of the main troop and mortar carriers of the Royal Marines' Armoured Support Group, the vehicle's purpose is to get in and out of enemy positions faster.

"[The MRZR-D4 is being] used by all sorts of high-tier operators around the world and that's why now, we're… using them, to match that higher tier operator," the Mobility Instructor added.

The vehicle itself is compact but robust, easily transported by ship or helicopter and can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.

It also has on-demand all-wheel drive as well as each wheel being able to move freely thanks to an independent suspension system.

All these features make the vehicle perfect for off-roading, but much more complex than a standard vehicle to drive.

Watch: Future Commando Force – Royal Marines trial new concepts.

The Royal Marine Mobility Instructor said unless you are aware of all the features of the MRZR-D4, and how it works, "you're not going to get very far at all".

"So that's why we spend a lot of time doing the basics and learning how the machine works before we start putting them on big features or trying to attempt a more arduous terrain," they said.

40 Commando's Vanguard Strike Company will continue training in the MRZR-D4 later this year – heading to California to see if the vehicle fits future commando operations.

Warrant Officer 2 Chris Burge, 3 Commando Brigade Master Driver, told Forces News the US training area, roughly the same size as Wales, is more challenging.

"The terrain's... arduous, bit more rocky and a little bit more challenging, so we're sort of trying and experimenting the different types of capability we can use," he said.

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