General Dynamics Flyer
|Type||Light Strike Vehicle|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Designer||General Dynamics & Flyer Defense LLC|
|Unit cost||Unarmored: $245,000 (€ 143.000 for Italian Army contract on 2015)|
|No. built||1,300 planned|
|Variants||open or armored|
|Weight||4,500 lb (2,041 kg) curb weight |
|Length||182 in (4.6 m)|
|Width||72 in (1.8 m)|
|Height||72.25 in (1.835 m)|
|Crew||Up to 9 seats: 3 front, 3 rear, 2 rear deck, 1 gunner seat with 5 point seat belt|
|Engine||DOHC Turbocharged Intercooled JP8 Diesel Direct Injection Common Rail Fuel System (Euro V)
195 hp (145 kW) 295 ft.-lb. (400 Nm)
|Payload capacity||5,512 lb (2,500 kg)|
|Transmission||Automatic power shift 6 speed (Tiptronic)|
|Suspension||4-wheel coil over shocks independent suspension with 4 air spring variable ride|
|Fuel capacity||32 gal. (145L)|
|350 mi (560 km)|
|Speed||100 mph (160 km/h)|
The Flyer Advanced Light Strike Vehicle platform has been developed by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS), in partnership with Flyer Defense LLC, for the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Ground Mobility Vehicle Program. The Flyer Advanced Light Strike Vehicle platform configurations are the Flyer 72 and the narrower Flyer 60.
The Flyer was designed to fill a need by special operations forces to have a lightweight, mobile platform that could be transported by air and be configured for a variety of missions. It can be internally transported by V-22 Osprey, CH-53E Super Stallion, CH-47D Chinook, C-130 Hercules, and C-5 Galaxy, and be externally transported by UH-60L Black Hawk. The vehicle can operate at high speeds at long ranges, off-road and in various weather conditions. It can be configured for many roles including light strike, personnel rescue and recovery, reconnaissance, and communications. The Flyer has a fuel efficiency of 24 mpg at 40 mph. Weapons can be mounted on a 360 degree ring or five patient litters can be carried. It also has an armored variant, with the 4-door cab, rear cargo area, and roofline armored to ballistic level B6.
The Flyer was offered as a contender in the GMV 1.1 competition to replace SOCOM's fleet of 1,072 Humvee-based Ground Mobility Vehicles. Requirements in 2012 called for a vehicle that weighed less than 3,175 kg (7,000 lb) and could carry up to seven troops. On 22 August 2013, General Dynamics was announced the winner of the program, and awarded a contract potentially worth $562 million. SOCOM plans to spend $24 million in FY 2014 for 101 vehicles, each worth $245,000. 1,300 are planned to be in service by September 2020. General Dynamics expects the Flyer to have international sales, such as to the British Special Air Service. Several Middle Eastern nations have expressed interest in upgrading their armored truck fleets, including Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.
In September 2013, AM General and Navistar filed protests over the awarding of the GMV 1.1 contract to General Dynamics. Both protests were rejected by the Government Accountability Office, so AM General filed a lawsuit against SOCOM for "irregularities" with the acquisition decision. The protests and lawsuit caused automatic stopping of work to General Dynamics for the Flyer. The lawsuit could have pushed back the planned 2020 completion date of GMV 1.1 acquisition. On 7 April 2014, the US Federal Claims Court rejected AM General's lawsuit, allowing General Dynamics to resume work and continue with the contract. SOCOM reached a Milestone C decision on 7 October 2014, beginning low-rate initial production (LRIP) for 72 Flyer vehicles as the GMV 1.1 by 2016.
The United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) reportedly received a Flyer 72 in 2014 for testing under Project Westerly, a program to evaluate vehicles for the replacement of their Supacat HMT400 Surveillance and Reconnaissance Vehicle/Offensive Action Vehicles that entered service in 2003.
On 21 October 2013, General Dynamics was awarded a SOCOM contract for non-developmental V-22 Internally Transportable Vehicles (ITV). The three-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract is for up to 10 vehicles, with integration and logistical support and training. The total value of the contract is $5.8 million if all options are exercised. The basic difference between the Flyer 72 and 60 is width - at 72 in (1.8 m) and 60 in (1.5 m) respectively. They share the same engine, suspension, transmission, and electrical systems. The Flyer 60 seats only four, with a height of 60 in (5.0 ft), length of 180 in (15 ft) and payload of 3,500 lb (1,600 kg).
General Dynamics is offering modified Flyer vehicles to the U.S. Army for their Ultra Light Combat Vehicle (ULCV) and Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (LRV) programs. With the Flyer already developed and certified, it would be cheaper for the Army to buy a vehicle with an established logistics base. The Special Forces Flyer 72 version had SOF-specific items removed and more seats added to meet ULCV requirements for a weight of 4,500 lb (2,000 kg) and a 3,200 lb (1,500 kg) payload, equal to nine soldiers and their gear. For the LRV, the Flyer 72 could have armor added, carry six troops, and mount an M230 chain gun.
- GBR - UKSF: 1 on test
- ITA - Italian Army: Flyer III, 9 + 18 on option for 9° Reggimento "Col Moschin" (SF) 
- USA - SOCOM: 1,300 planned
- "Flyer 72 Technical Specifications" (PDF). General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS). 2 July 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- Flyer brochure - General Dynamics
- Flyer - General Dynamics
- Flyer Armored - General Dynamics
- General Dynamics Wins $562 Million SOCOM Truck Deal - DoDBuzz.com, 22 August 2013
- Special Ops Command Announces $560M Award for Critical New Vehicle - Defensenews.com, 22 August 2013
- General Dynamics Wins $500 Million Special Operations Truck Contract - Nationaldefensemagazine.org, 23 August 2013
- AM General and Navistar Protest SOCOM Vehicle Contract - Defensenews.com, 4 September 2013
- Lawsuit Stalls Special Operations Ground Mobility Vehicle Program - Nationaldefensemagazine.org, April 2014
- AM General Lawsuit Against SOCOM Rejected; GD Starts Work on Special Ops Vehicle - Defensenews.com, 9 April 2014
- USSOCOM Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 Enters Low Rate Initial Production - Deagel.com, 7 October 2014
- "UKSF to evaluate General Dynamics' Flyer-72". Jane's International Defense Review (Volume 47 Issue 10). 1 October 2014.
- "General Dynamics to Deliver V-22 Internally Transported" (PDF). General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- "Flyer 60 Technical Specifications" (PDF). General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- "SOCOM Poised to Receive New Ultra-Light-Duty Truck". Defensetech.org. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- 5 new light vehicles revealed at AUSA - Military1.com, 31 October 2014