Sol­diers in Afghanistan Test New Off-Road Pro­to­types

By Army Sgt. Jes­si­ca L. Shel­don
Spe­cial to Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice

Afghanistan - The enhanced logistic off-road vehicle, known as the_ELSORV
Sol­diers from 101st Air­borne Divi­sion test an enhanced logis­tic off-road vehi­cle pro­to­type to see if it meets their stan­dards for oper­a­tional use in Afghanistan. Three pro­to­type vehi­cles are being test­ed. U.S. Army pho­to by Sgt. Jes­si­ca L. Shel­don, 382nd Pub­lic Affairs Detach­ment

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan, June 9, 2008 — Sol­diers from Com­bined Task Force Cur­ra­hee recent­ly test-drove a new vehi­cle that could help alle­vi­ate some of the prob­lems they have maneu­ver­ing through Afghanistan’s moun­tains and val­leys.

The enhanced logis­tic off-road vehi­cle, known as the ELSORV, may be the answer to nav­i­gat­ing Afghanistan’s rugged ter­rain.

Three pro­to­types are being test­ed. Afghanistan’s rocky ter­rain makes the going slow and dif­fi­cult for sup­ply con­voys, evac­u­a­tion and basic ground trans­porta­tion.

“This vehi­cle was brought on as an oper­a­tion need,” said Char­lie Copsey, one of the engi­neers who built the ELSORV. “Rapid Equip­ment Force fund­ed the build­ing of the pro­to­types.”

All three pro­to­types are in Afghanistan so sol­diers can learn how they han­dle in the ter­rain. Over the past year, the ELSORVs went through oper­a­tional assess­ments in the Unit­ed States, and now they are here for a real-world assess­ment by the sol­diers who could end up using the vehi­cles.

“The ELSORV is unlike any oth­er mil­i­tary vehi­cle I’ve dri­ven,” said Army Sgt. Lance Davis, one of the test dri­vers. “It goes wher­ev­er you want it to go.”

Copsey said ELSORVs can car­ry 2,700 pounds, and they have mod­i­fied Humvee engines that can con­quer approach angles of 90 degrees and climb slopes at 80 degrees.

“As long as they have pow­er going to one of the wheels, they’re going to stay mobile,” Copsey said.

The ELSORVs allow sol­diers to go over obsta­cles with­out get­ting hung up on the under­car­riage. The vehi­cle can go 90 mph safe­ly on a hard sur­face.

“The best place for these vehi­cles is here in Afghanistan,” Davis said.

(Army Sgt. Jes­si­ca L. Shel­don serves with 382nd Pub­lic Affairs Detach­ment.)

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)