US Special Operators Demand More Firepower and Protection for Their Newest Battle Buggies

Home / Articles / External Non-Government


February 26, 2018 | Originally published by Date Line: February 26 on

U.S. Special Operations Command is planning to spend millions to refit a number of its newest light vehicles, known as the Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1, or GMV 1.1, with new turrets with better protection or remote weapon stations armed with machine guns and guided anti-tank missiles. The new details have emerged after a scathing media report suggesting that Marine special operators in particular think vehicle is virtually useless its present configuration due to its limited defenses.

On Jan. 11, 2018, officials at Special Operations Command (SOCOM) approved plans to award a contract worth more than $3 million straight to defense contractor Military Systems Group for the heavy duty turret assemblies. The command is treating this is a modification to the original 2013 GMV 1.1 contract, which it awarded to General Dynamics after selecting its Flyer 72 vehicle as the winning design. With the equipment, the entire program will have cost nearly $765 million so far.

The new turrets will allow users to install a Gunner Protection Kit, or GPK, to the present manned turret or fit a version of the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station, or CROWS, so the gunner can fire various weapons, including the Javelin anti-tank missile, from within the vehicle itself. SOCOM says that it has received three separate “combat-mission need statements” from deployed special operations units for these added capabilities on their GMV 1.1s since February 2017.