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Defence Trucks Experience 2023: Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks showcases commercial vehicles for use in civilian and military environments

Source: Daimler Truck

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.

 

 

The manufacturer provided its customers with insight into its current range of vehicles for armed forces, agencies, and organizations with security responsibilities as part of the in-house Defence Trucks Experience (DTE) 2023 driving event. In the “gravel pit,” an off-road test site for extreme off-road vehicles in the town of Ötigheim in Baden, southwest Germany, participants could learn more about nearly 20 vehicle solutions for a variety of uses and try many of them firsthand in off-road driving.

 

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The focus was on the Zetros, Arocs, and Unimog model series, as well as two special chassis (FGA 14.5 and FGA 9.5) from Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks, along with various partner solutions featuring subsystems and components from Mercedes-Benz Trucks. DTE 2023, which took place from October 16 to 19, was aimed at users and procurers from the defense and security sector.

 

The Mercedes-Benz Zetros concept

The Zetros offers the capabilities and flexibility of a highly specialized vehicle together with the advantages of a large-scale series vehicle in terms of development experience, service network and spare parts availability. The second generation of the cab-behind-engine vehicle, which has been developed for robustness, simple operation and high off-road capability, is also specially designed for the requirements of regions with limited infrastructure and inferior fuel quality. When driving on rough terrain, drivers benefit from the large angles of approach/departure and ramp breakover angles, the fording capability and the engageable longitudinal and transverse differential locks. In this process, the seat position behind the front axle ensures a relatively smooth driving experience and good vehicle control.

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Ralf Malie.

 

The significantly reduced vibration and impact load for the vehicle crew on poor roads allows higher speeds and thus greater transport performance with increased safety for cargo and personnel. In addition to the M cab with space for three people and a crew cab for up to seven, the Zetros hood concept also provides a hood that can be opened independently of the cab to access the engine compartment quickly for maintenance and repair work. This keeps the cab separate as a protected space and for the use of communication technology. The low cab allows high special bodies, such as drilling rigs or turntable ladders.

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Defence Industry Europe.

 

All Zetros are powered by a high-performance, robust, in-line six-cylinder engine with a displacement of 12.8 liters, meeting Euro III and V emission standards. In addition to the familiar 4×4 and 6×6 versions with permanent all-wheel drive, models with 4×2 and 6×4 wheel configurations are also available. Drivetrain variants allow gross combination masses of up to 120 tons for the semitrailer truck. The permissible gross mass of the three-axle vehicles can be increased to up to 40 tons. The Zetros is optionally available with single or twin tires.

 

Mercedes-Benz Zetros 3042 A 6×6

With the Zetros 3042 A 6×6, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks underpins the reputation of the Zetros as an extreme commercial vehicle that can cope with potholes and mud pits, hills and slopes, sand, dust, heat and cold. The chassis is powered by the OM 460 Euro III in-line six-cylinder engine with a displacement of 12.8 liters. The diesel engine delivers 310 kW (421 hp/2100 Nm). The 4500 SP Allison automatic transmission without retarder offers high vehicle dynamics. With fully automatic gear selection, the six-speed transmission control introduced in 2021 allows faster and smoother moving off and acceleration without interrupting the traction in many situations.

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Defence Industry Europe.

 

The dimensions of the three-axle Zetros are (L x W x H) 9450 x 2525 x 3220 millimeters with a wheelbase of 5100 millimeters. The vehicle has a permissible gross mass of 30 tons (9 tons on the front axle and 10.5 tons on each of the two rear axles) and a gross combination mass of 120 tons. The M cab with center seat provides space for three people.

For good traction on soft ground the Zetros features tubeless single tires on the front axle and rear axles (14.00 R 20 Cross Country). For driving through water, the vehicle offers a fording capability of 800 millimeters. The HPC  torsion-free platform body with tarp allows a wide range of applications of the Zetros 3042 A 6×6, particularly for material and container transport.

 

Mercedes-Benz Zetros 2743 A 6×6

The 2743 A 6×6 on show demonstrates the operational capability of the Zetros as a refueling vehicle. In this capacity, the model will be showcased with a 13,000-liter fuel tank featuring an internal coating made of epoxy resin from Lindner & Fischer Fahrzeugbau for transporting diesel or gasoline. The installed drive technology is the OM 460 Euro III in-line six-cylinder engine with a displacement of 12.8 liters and an output of 310 kW (421 hp/2100 Nm). The chassis is equipped with a single-plate dry clutch Mercedes-Benz G260 transmission. An Allison automatic transmission is also optionally available.

 

 

The dimensions of the three-axle Zetros with tubeless single tires on the front and rear axles are (L x W x H) 9950 x 2550 x 3300 millimeters with a wheelbase of 5100 millimeters. The vehicle has a permissible gross mass of 28 tons (7.5 tons on the front axle and 10.5 tons on each of the two rear axles). In addition to the reinforced frame, other vehicle features on show also include an air conditioning system, ground clearance of 400 millimeters, a fording capability of 800 millimeters and a vast angle of approach/departure of up to 35 degrees for driving on steep terrain.

 

Mercedes-Benz Zetros 1836 A 4×4

Another Zetros model is the 1836 A 4×4 with Mercedes-Benz OM460 Euro III in-line six-cylinder engine, boasting a displacement of 12.8 liters to deliver an output of 265 kW (360 hp/1800 Nm). The dimensions of the M cab two-axle vehicle (L x W x H) are 8300 x 2550 x 3500 millimeters with a wheelbase of 5100 millimeters. The Zetros 1836 A 4×4 has a gross mass of 20 tons (9 tons on the front axle and 13.4 tons on the rear axle).

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Ralf Malie.

 

Also this Zetros – like the two other cab-behind-engine vehicles showcased at DTE 2023 – has tubeless single tires on the front axle and rear axles. The fording capability is also 800 millimeters. The vehicle on show also has a torsion-free platform body made by HPC with tarp.

 

Mercedes-Benz Arocs model series

The Mercedes-Benz Arocs with the available and powerful engines, heavy-duty drive components as well as solid chassis and suspension design is suitable for demanding applications. A number of basic variants in combination with a wide range of possible special equipment increase the ability of the vehicle to operate off-road as well as under demanding climatic and environmental conditions. This versatility in combination with drive variants and cab sizes that can be selected means the Arocs can be configured for specific applications and customer requirements. The high body compatibility and the preparation of the frame design ex works for different applications enable particularly well-engineered, overall vehicle solutions. Low repair and maintenance costs, high spare parts availability and a dense service network ensure short downtimes and thus economical use.

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Ralf Malie.

 

Customers can choose the drive system to suit their applications from four Euro VI basic engines with a wide range of power ratings and variants. The engine range extends from a displacement of 7.7 liters with 175 kW (238 hp) to a displacement of 15.6 liters with 460 kW (625 hp). This makes it possible to transport heavy loads with total haulage weights of up to 250 tons. The Arocs is also available with a range of robust engines with Euro III, IV or V emissions certification for use in regions with lower emission requirements or inferior fuel qualities. Solutions are available for operation with NATO fuels (F34/F63).

 

Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4152 AK 8X8

The main use of the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4152 AK 8×8 is the transportation of heavy equipment and material. It is powered by the 380 kW (517 hp) OM 473 Euro VI in-line six-cylinder engine with 2600 Nm torque and a displacement of 15.6 liters. The Mercedes-Benz G 330-12/11.63-0.77 transmission is operated by Mercedes-Benz PowerShift 3 – either fully automatically or optionally in manual mode.

 

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In the Mercedes-Benz Arocs series, the engine’s torque can optionally be transmitted via the turbo retarder clutch (TRC)– a combination of hydraulic start-off clutch and retarder in the same component. For transport with high loads, this allows sensitive, wear-free moving off and maneuvering with input torques of up to 3000 Nm. A further advantage of the TRC is a very high, continuous brake output. Together with the high-performance engine brake, the TRC ensures a high level of safety and can protect the service brakes even with very heavy loads on long downhill gradients.

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Ralf Malie.

 

For high traction on soft ground, especially in sand, the Arocs has 365/80 R 20 single tires and an optional tire pressure control system. The dimensions of the Arocs 4152 AK 8×8 are (L x W x H) 10,070 x 2500 x 3710 millimeters with a wheelbase of 5450 millimeters. The four-axle vehicle has a gross mass of 35 tons (2 x 7.5 tons on the two front axles and 2 x 10 tons on the two rear axles).

Further equipment elements of the Arocs on show with ClassicSpace L cab are the Palfinger crane PK 21.501 S LD3 with a maximum lifting torque of 20.9 meter tons and a swivel range of 400 degrees as well as the frame-mounted Hy K 10/BR hydraulic cable winch from HPC.

 

Mercedes-Benz Arocs 2243 A 6×6

The Mercedes-Benz Arocs 2243 A 6×6 as a single-tire, three-axle vehicle will also be available to try out at DTE 2023. The 315 kW (428 hp) OM 470 Euro VI in-line six-cylinder diesel engine with a displacement of 10.7 liters in a combination with Mercedes-Benz PowerShift 3 allows efficient propulsion with simple handling. Thanks to easy-to-read instruments and an intuitive arrangement of the controls, operating the vehicle is made easy for the driver and incorrect operation is largely eliminated. The dimensions of the three-axle vehicle are (L x W x H) 8470 x 2500 x 3720 millimeters with a wheelbase of 4200 millimeters. The vehicle has a gross mass of 26 tons (8 tons on the front axle and 9.5 tons on each of the two rear axles).

The Arocs with ClassicSpace L cab has a swiveling roof hatch and a fording capability of 700 millimeters, among other features. The vehicle is on display with a Sonntag transport technology torsional-free container swap frame with twistlocks for container locking.

 

 

Mercedes-Benz Arocs 1827 AK 4×4

The trio of Arocs vehicles at DTE 2023 will be complemented by the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 1827 AK 4×4. The drive is provided by the compact and lightweight OM 936 Euro VI in-line six-cylinder engine with a displacement of 7.7 liters. The diesel engine delivers 200 kW (272 hp/1100 Nm). The dimensions of the single-tire, two-axle vehicle are (L x W x H) 6670 x 2500 x 3420 millimeters with a wheelbase of 3600 millimeters. The vehicle has a permissible gross mass of 16.5 tons (8 tons on the front axle and 9 tons on the rear axle). Like the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 2243 A 6×6 on show, the Arocs 1827 AK 4×4 has a pivoting roof hatch, among other features, and the fording capability is also 700 millimeters. The vehicle also features a torsion-free container swap frame from Sonntag transport technology.

 

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Mercedes-Benz Unimog

For several decades, the Unimog has been one of the most widely used, extreme off-road trucks in the world. Its versatility and reliability make it ideal for off-road use. The vehicles of the Unimog U 4000 and U 5000 (Euro 3/5) or U 4023 and U 5023 (Euro 6 Standard) model series are suitable for the transport of tools, equipment, material and personnel under extreme conditions. Areas of application include military and humanitarian aid organizations (NGOs), forest firefighting, disaster relief, as well as service and maintenance work at hard-to-reach locations. On rough terrain, the driver and crew benefit from the vast angles of approach/departure and ramp breakover angles as well as the fording capability. As a rule, the engageable interaxle and differential locks enable propulsion even if individual wheels lose traction. Depending on the road conditions, the Unimog can accelerate up to 89 km/h.

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Ralf Malie.

 

Individual system solutions can be implemented in conjunction with many qualified bodybuilders. Standardized and normalized interfaces make quick and flexible implement changes possible.

 

Unimog U 5023 4×4 with crewcab

With its crewcab (seats in the front and in the back), the Unimog U 5023 4×4 allows the transportation of larger teams of up to four people and their mission equipment in one vehicle. As an alternative, bench seats for a total of up to seven people are also possible in the crewcab. Even with a crew of seven, the built-in, high-performance air conditioning system ensures clean ambient air in the cab. The crewcab weighs only 120 kilograms more than the standard cab, which means that there are hardly any disadvantages in terms of payload in this variant.

 

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The extreme off-road Unimog U 5023 4×4 it is powered by the high-torque OM 934 Euro VI engine rated at 170 kW (231 hp) with a displacement of 5.1 liters.

The dimensions of the Unimog 5023 4×4 are (L x W x H) 6000 x 2345 x 2910 millimeters with a wheelbase of 3850 millimeters. The permissible gross mass is 13 tons (5.5 tons on the front axle and 7.5 tons on the rear axle). With a fording capability of up to 1200 millimeters and the optional tire pressure control system, the Unimog can usually navigate also through swamp, shallow waters or desert. For the transportation of mission equipment, the Unimog on display has a body with tarp made by Eggers Fahrzeugbau.

 

Unimog U 5000 4×4

The second Unimog showcased at DTE 2023 will be the Unimog U 5000 4×4. The OM 926 LA Euro III in-line four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 4.8 liters delivers 160 kW (218 hp). The dimensions are (L x W x H) 5950 x 2340 x 2790 mm with a wheelbase of 3850 mm. The permissible gross mass is 12.5 tons (5.5 tons on the front axle and 7.1 tons on the rear axle). Particular equipment features of the vehicle include a tire pressure control system, a cyclone dust filter and the 1200 millimeter fording capability as special equipment. The U 5000 4×4 is exhibited with a body from EMPL including an 8-ton recovery winch.

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Ralf Malie.

 

Mercedes-Benz Special Chassis FGA

At DTE 2023, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will also be exhibiting “chassis for protected bodies”. The special FGA 14.5 4×4 and 9.5 4×4 chassis will be available to view on site. Numerous international, special-purpose vehicle manufacturers have been building their products on these chassis derived from the Unimog for several years now. You benefit from the Unimog’s superior off-road capability, Daimler Truck’s far-reaching service and spare parts supply and the support and advice provided by engineers from Mercedes-Benz Defence Trucks.

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Ralf Malie.

 

The drivetrain of the special chassis 14.5 4×4 is fitted with the powerful OM 926 LA Euro III six-cylinder diesel engine and has an output of 240 kW (330 hp). The chassis contains mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic interfaces that are required for many types of bodies.

 

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The 9.5-ton chassis was developed with a focus on civilian applications and has technology based on the chassis of the Unimog U 4000 model series. It is equipped with the OM 924 Euro III diesel engine with a displacement of 4.8 liters and an output of 160 kW (218 hp). The chassis is supplied with a platform that contains the necessary interfaces and controls for driving the vehicle. Here too, preinstalled electrical and mechanical interfaces allow the simple integration of cabs for the crew or other bodies.

 

Solutions from Mercedes-Benz partners

Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks also supplies various components to system vendors for building their own solutions. The GTP 4×4 from Finnish company Sisu will be on show at DTE 2023. The armored, multi-purpose vehicle uses the OM 926 Euro III six-cylinder diesel engine, which has been paired with an Allison 6-speed automatic transmission. The OM 926 diesel engine with Allison 6-speed automatic transmission also powers the Enok 14.8 made by German manufacturer Armored Car Systems. The mobility platform for multifunctional applications is based on the special chassis FGA 14.5.

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Ralf Malie.

 

Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will be showcasing the armored Ibero SMV made by Spanish manufacturer TSD, which uses the special chassis 9.5 and is fitted with the OM 926 diesel engine. The Arive armored infantry vehicle made by French company Soframe is based on the special chassis 14.5 and is also equipped with the OM 926 diesel engine with Allison 6-speed automatic transmission. Soframe has also produced the HRV 8×8, a rescue vehicle based on the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4848 AK with OM 460 Euro III diesel engine and Mercedes-Benz PowerShift3 automatic transmission.

 

For security and defence forces to successfully fulfill their missions, they need robust and powerful as well as dependable and low-maintenance vehicles. For several decades, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks has been providing its customers with commercial vehicles in a variety of model series and configurations, which aim at reliably meeting their requirements at freezing temperatures and in desert heat.
Photo: Defence Industry Europe.

 

The Dingo 2 4×4 from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, a company within German-French defence technology group KNDS, uses the 9.5-ton chassis from the FGA range from Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks and the OM 926 diesel engine. The Derman 8×8 armored tactical logistics vehicle from Turkish company Koluman is based on the Arocs 8×8 with OM 473 diesel engine and Mercedes-Benz PowerShift 3 automatic transmission with fluid coupling. Finally, another vehicle on display is a Unimog U 5023 4×4 with a body from the Austrian firefighting equipment manufacturer Rosenbauer. The water tank has a volume of 3000 liters, which can be delivered at up to 2400 liters per minute during deployment. In combination with the engine-independent self-protection system, extreme off-road capability and fording capability, the vehicle is well-suited for combating fires that are difficult to reach and for use in flood disasters.

 

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