Special Operations: Going For A Ride
April 14, 2009: U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) is buying 1,625 Mule 4010 4x4 vehicles, calling them Light Tactical All-Terrain (LTAT) Vehicles , and using them for commandos and Special Forces in combat zones. Basically a dune buggy, LTAT weighs 1,400 pounds, (637 kg) but can carry 1,330 pounds (591 kg, including four passengers, plus a 15.6 cubic foot rear cargo area and a roof rack). The mule can also tow up to 1,200 pounds (546 kg). Top speed is 40 kilometers an hour, and the fuel tank carries 25 liters (6.2 gallons).
Special Operations troops are very fond of dune buggy type vehicles. These are also becoming more popular as civilian recreation vehicles, for cross country travel. The four wheel drive LTAT can easily be moved by helicopter to wherever, and then let the SOCOM operators move on cross country, often at night (with the driver using night vision goggles to navigate).