Boeing's Phantom Badger tactical ground vehicle has been certified for internal carriage aboard the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, the company announced on 8 April.
The US Navy (USN) certified the vehicle in March, having conducted a series of form-fit checks and pressure tests. Structural evaluations were also conducted to beyond 4 g s.
Since being unveiled in May 2013, the Phantom Badger has completed more than 5,000 miles of rugged terrain durability testing and successful airdrop tests from a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifter. According to Boeing, the C-17 can carry 10 such vehicles, while the CH-47 Chinook helicopter can carry two. As well as being transported internally, the Phantom Badger can be underslung from the V-22 and helicopters.
Boeing and its Motorsport Innovations (MSI) partner have designed the Phantom Badger to leverage commercial off-the-shelf technology into a simple yet capable all-terrain vehicle. The vehicle features four-wheel drive for enhanced manoeuvrability, a removable and interchangeable storage or mission module for tactical flexibility, fully adjustable ride height for comprehensive off-road performance, and parts commonality with existing vehicles for increased sustainability in the field.
Weapon loads include a .50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine gun or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher mounted to the roll cage, and rear facing seats that can also be equipped with 7.62 mm general purpose machine guns and other squad weapons. Alternatively, this rear crew area can be outfitted with a modular mission bay, for roles such as casualty evacuation, which can be installed in under 30 minutes.
In October 2013 the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) disclosed that it had chosen the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD OTS) Flyer Advanced Light Strike Vehicle (ALSV) over the Phantom Badger for its V-22 Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV) contract. However, at that time Boeing officials told IHS Jane's that the company was continuing with development, saying; "We have the best, most affordable solution for the warfighter, and the Boeing-MSI team is prepared to deliver a superb combat support vehicle that exceeds every customer expectation .... Boeing continues to see considerable domestic and international interest in Phantom Badger".