A £5m contract with UK-based Yamaha and Logic, has provided 200 upgraded all terrain vehicles (ATVs) to ensure quad bikes and trailers continue to provide logistics support on operations. They are also used to assist in casualty evacuation.
The latest quads in Afghanistan deliver food, water and ammunition to the front line in difficult to access areas or where larger vehicles are not suitable, effectively moving alongside dismounted troops.
The latest quad bikes and trailers come with a number of upgrades, including:
- left-hand throttle, which provides a dual throttle fit giving greater manoeuvrability in theatre
- dual stretcher fit on trailer - to evacuate two casualties at a time, thereby speeding up emergency aid
The ATVs alone can reach speeds of up to 75kph, reduced to a recommended speed of 50kph with the trailer. The limiting factor in both scenarios is the operating terrain. Both can operate through water up to half their wheel height.
Operators using ATVs are protected by Osprey body armour and Mk6 helmets.
Major Matt Cansdale, of 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, who used the bikes during his recent operational tour, said:
"The quad bikes proved to be reliable and were able to go places that no other vehicle could.
"The equipment the quad bikes were able to carry enabled us to launch patrols that covered more distance and were longer in duration than would otherwise have been the case, so we were able to push into areas where the enemy did not expect us.
"The ability to evacuate casualties effectively and quickly also meant that we could move away from established routes while limiting the risk to our forces."
The upgraded bikes and trailers replaced the Honda 450 ATVs and LOGIC SMT120b trailers.