Interim Fast Attack Vehicle

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Marines from Weapons Company (WC), 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment race their Mercedes Interim Fast Attack Vehicle (IFAV) along the North Field, on Tinian Island, in support of Exercise Tandem Thrust 2003.

The Interim Fast Attack Vehicle (IFAV) is a vehicle deployed and used by the United States Marine Force Recon and Marine Expeditionary Units. Force Recon used to operate a fleet of Desert Patrol Vehicles (formerly known as Fast Attack Vehicles or FAVs for short), popularized by the Navy SEALs as the "black dune buggy." However, this vehicle lacked cargo capacity and firepower, so Force Recon moved to a militarized Mercedes-Benz G-Class, also known as a G-wagen, 290 GDT diesel 4×4, a much more traditional "Jeep" type truck. The vehicle has only minimal armor, but numerous defensive weapons, including a Mk 19 automatic 40 mm grenade launcher. This vehicle is manufactured by Magna Steyr (Austria) for Mercedes-Benz (Germany).

Marines with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, Battalion Landing Team 3/6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) load their Mercedes G IFAV (Interim Fast Attack Vehicle) in preparation to turn over their bivouac site to Army soldiers from the 101st Air Assault Division at Kandahar International Airport, Kandahar, Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom. In the background are the remains of an Mi-18 Hip-H Soviet helicopter.

The IFAV has since been replaced by the Internally Transportable Light Strike Vehicle (ITV-LSV).


The USMC Interim Fast Attack Vehicle (IFAV) is a modified version of the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen 290. It replaces the modified M151A2 1/4 ton truck jeep) used by the Marines as a FAV in the 1990s. The U.S. Marine Corps acquired 157 of the IFAVs distributed as follows:

  • Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Camp Pendleton, CA (33);
  • MEF Camp Lejeune, NC (25);
  • MEF on Okinawa, Japan (27);
  • 17th Force Recon, Afghanistan (22);
  • 3rd Force Recon Bn, Iraq (23);
  • 1st Provisional DMZ Police Company, Korea (15);
  • various miscellaneous (12).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

IFAV listed in Special Operations