The Mercedes-Benz G-class is also referred as Gelandwagen, G-Wagen, G-Wagon. Despite it's popularity amongst civil customers it is a purpose-designed military vehicle, developed back in the early 1970s. Since its introduction the G-class has been constantly improved. Currently it is in service with 60 countries around the world. Since its introduction the G-class made it's name for reliability and ruggedness.
In 2007 it was disclosed that Mercedes-Benz developing a heavier variant of the 4x4 G-Wagon. The main goal was to meet a trend of increasing payload. Also this would enable vehicle to carry armor without the loss of mobility.
In 2007 Mercedes-Benz won a contract to provide 1 200 G-class vehicles to the Australian Defense Forces. Later this number was increased to over 2 100 units. Australian Defense Forces ordered a mix of 4x4 and 6x6 models in six different configuration. Vehicles began entering service in 2012. These replace an ageing fleet of Land Rover 110s.
The Mercedes-Benz G-class with 6x6 configuration has a payload capacity of 3 000 kg. Models with various body styles and various wheelbase length are available. All of these have a cargo platform at the rear, which is used to carry cargo or extra troops. Vehicle can tow trailers or light artillery pieces.
Australian military will receive G-class vehicles with 6x6 configuration for reconnaissance role (SVR model). It is a special vehicle, intended for long range patrols. These vehicles will be used by Australian Army's SAS Regiment. Around 200 of these machines will be delivered. Australia is the first military customer to receive G-class vehicles with 6x6 configuration. Also these are the first six-wheel military vehicles of this class built by Mercedes-Benz since the WWII. It is worth mentioning that Australian Army previously used a similar Land Rover 110 Heavy Duty with 6x6 configuration.
The Australian Army SVR reconnaissance model has an open top. It carries 3 soldiers. One of them is seated at the rear. Vehicle is fitted with a front weapon mount and rear weapon ring. Each mount accepts 5.56-mm light machine gun or 7.62-mm general purpose machine gun.
The G-class with 6x6 configuration may be up armored.
Vehicle is powered by a Mercedes-Benz 3-liter turbocharged diesel engine, developing 184 hp. Engine is mate to an automatic gearbox. Vehicle has a full-time all-wheel drive. The 6x6 version of the Mercedes-Benz G-class has good cross-country performance. This vehicle was developed for rough terrain conditions from the ground up. It is well able to absorb the rough knocks of the Australian terrain.
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