FORT PIERCE, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2014)—Not long ago small off-road vehicles used by teen-agers were the same as those available to special operators. Now, Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) ruggedized for military use are standard pieces of equipment when operators need to go where a truck cannot. Battelle’s original modified UTV will now have a place among other vehicles on display at the Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Battelle engineers heavily modified the existing models manufactured by Polaris to include a more fortified roll bar, a heartier suspension, a wider base, improved electronics, infrared headlights and an additional third rear-facing seat. Battelle supplied several dozen UTVs to SEAL teams when, at the time, there were none on the market that had these specifications.
Soon after seeing the usefulness and popularity of the Battelle-modified UTVs, Polaris began manufacturing UTVs for military purposes, including many of the features Battelle first used in its models. Now, three vehicle generations later, there are a number of these vehicles in use by the military with improved performance features.
Officials at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum recently accepted the UTV donation and plan to use it in a capability demonstration as part of the 29th annual Muster and Music Festival scheduled for Nov. 8.
“Battelle UTVs are one of the reasons SEALs have been so successful in both Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Rick Kaiser, Executive Director of the Museum. “Their cutting-edge technology allows Navy SEALs and all Special Forces to approach the enemy quickly and quietly, which allows us to maintain the element of surprise.”
Battelle has long worked with Navy SEALS and other Special Operations Forces to build hardware that helps ensure mission success. Other significant equipment donated to, and exhibited within, the museum include tools to improve fast-roping with canines and tactical climbing gear like a grappling hook gun donated in 2012. Battelle also builds armored Non-Standard Commercial Vehicles (NSCVs) for Special Operations Forces.
The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum is the only museum dedicated solely to preserving the history of the Navy SEALs and their predecessors, including the Underwater Demolition Teams, Naval Combat Demolition Units, Office of Strategic Services Maritime Units and Amphibious Scouts and Raiders. Located in Fort Pierce, Florida—the birthplace of the Navy Frogman—the Museum promotes public education by providing the opportunity to explore the history of the Navy SEALs in an atmosphere of respect and honor.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.
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