New Zealand Army takes delivery of 6 Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicles

According to an article published in New Zealand Army News magazine Issue 513, June 2020, New Zealand Army has taken delivery of six Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicles as a part of the Protected Mobility Capability Project. The MRZR 4 is a highly mobile, multi-configurable, off-road vehicle from MRZR range of vehicles developed by Polaris Industries.
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The first six Polaris MRZR vehicles have been delivered to the New Zealand Army, as part of the Protected Mobility Capability Project (Picture source NZ Army)

In July 2019, New Zealand Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced the first phase of a project to replace many of the New Zealand Defence Force’s operational vehicles. An amount $18.6 million has been allocated for the purchase of High Mobility Utility Light Vehicles, and to undertake trials and risk reduction work to support future Protected Mobility procurements. These trials will provide assurance around vehicle performance and ensure that our modern equipment, such as that provided by the Network Enabled Army program, can be integrated and supported by the vehicles.

The purchase of the low cost, lightweight, compact size vehicle follows extensive trials conducted over two years by the New Zealand Army. The MRZR is a militarised version of the popular Polaris RZR recreational vehicles. It is diesel-powered, fitted with run-flat tires and an infra-red light to aid driving using night vision goggles.

The Protected Mobility Capability Project (PMCP) is gradually replacing Defence’s main operational land vehicle fleets. This includes both armored and non-armored vehicles. Six vehicles arrived as part of the PMCP, with an option of additional vehicles in the near future, and a number for the Counter Explosives Hazard project.

The MRZR is a lightweight drive four-seat vehicle with side-by-side seating and is specifically designed for off-road use. The driver and up to three passengers are restrained in their seats with four-point harnesses within a Roll Over Protection Structure that meets the NZDF (New Zealand Defense Forces) standard. Both rear seats can be removed to increase the cargo space or to carry up to two patients secured on stretchers.

The side-by-side configuration is inherently safer than the ride-on quad bikes Army has traditionally operated as our light off-road vehicle role. A number of New Zealand built transport trailers will be used to transport the MRZR on public roads.

The Polaris MRZR vehicles are capable of being moved by C-130, NH90 helicopters, and on HMNZS Canterbury. MRZR will be introduced into service with the New Zealand Army shortly, with the six PMCP vehicles being issued to the High Readiness Company (1 RNZIR).