New Zealand Army Battle Lab evaluates new combat equipment

29 June 2014 (Last Updated June 29th, 2014 18:30)

The New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) Battle Lab is testing the viability of new combat equipment.

The New Zealand Defence Force's (NZDF) Battle Lab is testing the viability of new combat equipment.

One of the systems being tested includes an ultra-light tactical vehicle, which is a military-modified version of a farmer's all-terrain vehicle (ATV), reported stuff.co.nz.

In an army-made video, Battle Lab manager Hayden Robinson said the group has been established to evaluate assorted weapons, which the army might want to acquire in future.

"One of the systems being tested includes an ultra-light tactical vehicle, which is a military-modified version of a farmer's all-terrain vehicle (ATV)."

"We haven't decided if we want these systems yet," Robinson said, noting that the lab is exploring the systems in order to give the army relevant information.

Manufactured by US-based Polaris, the four-seater 88hp 875cc ultra-light tactical vehicle is being sold by the company in a civilian version for around $27,000, according to stuff.co.nz.

Robinson said the vehicles would probably prove to be good in the South West Pacific region, as they can be rapidly deployed.

Easily parachuted out from C130 Hercules tactical transport helicopters or airlifted in by other military helicopters, the vehicles are likely to be acquired by the New Zealand Army.

In addition, the lab is also testing a remote weapon station (RWS), which enables installation of machine guns on top of military vehicles, while safely retaining the operator inside.

However, the tests have been mocked by New Zealand Army veterans, who believe the equipment has already been comprehensively tested overseas.

Defence Technology