Australian Army personnel could soon be driving around in a six-wheeled reconnaissance vehicle built in Queensland from a LandCruiser 79 Series.

A new type of vehicle is currently undergoing testing by the Australian Army.

The Military Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (MLRV) is manufactured by Queensland company Australian Patrol Vehicles (APV), based on a Toyota LandCruiser 79 Series, but modified to suit military applications.

The 6×6 MLRV has begun off-road testing by the 31st/42nd Battalion from The Royal Queensland Regiment, as the Australian Defence Force (ADF) assesses its suitability for domestic operations.

The vehicles could provide the ADF with an alternative to the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, which was introduced to replace the Land Rover Perentie.

While the G-Wagen has been designed to be integrated with Air Force transports for long-distance flights, the LandCruiser-based MLRV is being considered for use only on Australian soil – freeing up more G-Wagens for overseas deployment, if needed.

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“Army is supporting a Minister for Defence Industry SICP grant by trialling a Military Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (MLRV) to assess its suitability for use in domestic military operations,” the battalion wrote in a Facebook post.

“Four of these 6×6 MRLVs are being put through their paces in a comprehensive land trial by soldiers from the 31st/42nd Battalion, the Royal Queensland Regiment, 11th Combat Service Support Battalion and the 11th Engineer Regiment.”

If successful, the MRLV could also make its way into the Regional Force Surveillance Units – specialised infantry units responsible for patrolling the most remote areas of Australia – who don’t necessarily need the full engineering capabilities of the G-Wagen, and who may find maintenance and repairs to be quicker and easier with a Toyota-based vehicle.

Ben Zachariah

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than 15 years. Ben was previously an interstate truck driver and completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021. He is considered an expert in the area of classic car investment.

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