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Hey, Off-Road Man: Meet Your Next 'Gotta Have'...DESERT RAIDER from Israel

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NAZARETH ILLIT, Israel - June 24, 2006: Rough terrain got you down, Bunky? Need a little bit more to get you up and over that 60-degree berm? Bored with the same old, same old? Is that what’s troublin’ ya?

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Well, lift your head up high and take a ride in the sun, and never give up 'cause there's a new toy to be had: Desert Raider, the world's first and only 6x6 airborne, all-terrain reconnaissance, surveillance and fast attack vehicle (RSV/FAV).

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Desert Raider is manufactured by Israeli company Automotive Industries Ltd., a little-known (in the U.S.) maker of unique vehicles. Desert Raider was designed to meet the growing demand from “special forces operations,” which require a new generation of fast, highly mobile attack and surveillance vehicles that can operate behind enemy lines. Desert Raider’s 6 wheels deliver greater maneuverability, and enhanced cross-country mobility over all types of terrain.

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The company states that the heart of the design concept of the vehicle is a unique 4-wheel rear suspension unit that has independent suspension for each pair of rear wheels. The unit incorporates a pivot axis that permits the vehicle to rise or fall, and move with just one of its 6 wheels touching the ground. Desert Raider's automatic transmission, powerful engine and flexible, yet rugged frame, further add to its mobility and maneuverability under extreme field conditions and rough terrain.

Key features:

• High speeds –up to 110 kph
• Curb weight: 1450 kg
• Payload: up to 1200 kg
• Internally transportable aboard a CH-53 helicopter
• Low noise level • Low thermal signature RFI/EMC
• Gradeability: 70%
• Side slope: 70%
• Fording (without preparation): 700 mm
• Vertical step: 600 mm
• Operating range: 600 km
• Slow gradient crawling

Price: If you gotta ask, you can't afford it.

Availability: You can't have one, Osama.