The Flyer is a light special forces vehicle. It was developed by General Dynamics to meet a US Special Operations Command’s Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 requirement. This requirement called for a lightweight internally transportable vehicle with high off-road mobility. The Flyer competed against other designs, such as Oshkosh S-ATV to meet this requirement. Eventually in 2013 the General Dynamics won the competition and the Flyer was selected for production. Low-rate initial production began in 2014. A total of 72 vehicles are planned to be delivered to the US SOCOM by 2016.
This special forces vehicle can be used for specialized missions such as light assault, hit-and-run style raids, reconnaissance, long-range surveillance, rescue and evacuation.
Vehicle has a lightweight tubular chassis with a built-in roll bars. The Flyer has a payload capacity of 2 500 kg. It can carry more load that its own weight. This special forces vehicle is operated by a crew of 4, including the driver.
This little vehicle packs a formidable punch. It has a central weapon ring, that rotates through 360 degreed. It can be armed with 7.62-mm or 12.7-mm machine gun, or alternatively a 40-mm automatic grenade launcher. Also there are additional integral mounts in the doors for 7.62-mm machine guns. So other crew members can also use suppressive weapons.
There are two versions of the Flyer 60 and Flyer 72 with various width. Number in the designation denotes vehicle width in inches. So the Flyer 60 is 1.52 m wide, while the Flyer 72 is 1.83 m wide. The last mentioned has more internal space. Otherwise these versions are similar and use the same automotive components.
This special forces vehicle has multiple crew configurations. It can be rapidly reconfigured in the field to meet various mission requirements.
Up to 80% of the Flyer’s automotive components, including engine and powertrain, are used by HMMWVs or commercially available. Its 1.9-liter turbocharged diesel engine develops 195 hp. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Vehicle has a selectable 4×2 or 4×4 configuration. It can be fitted with a self-recovery winch.
From the earliest stage the Flyer was designed as an airportable vehicle. It can be airlifted both internally or externally by a CH-47 Chinook, larger military helicopters, or V-22 Osprey tiltrotor transport. The Flyer can be carried externally even by a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. This special forces vehicle can be airlifted by a C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft. After exiting the aircraft it is ready for battle in less than one minute.