Gurkha was designed by the Canadian company Armet Armored Vehicles which produces armoured, light tactical and off-road vehicles for the world market. Starting from August 2011 Gurkha is manufactured by Terradyne Armored Vehicles Inc., which is a business unit of Magna International Inc. Terradyne vehicles are generally used by the law-enforcement authorities and armed forces as transport for the infantry, engineer vehicle, mobile command centre, medical and patrol vehicle.
In the North America and abroad Gurkha, the flagship unit of Terradyne, is produced in three configurations: LAPV (light armoured patrol vehicle), MPV (multi purpose vehicle) and RPV (rapid patrol vehicle).
Gurkha is a mine resistant protected vehicle. The construction of the armoured vehicle is based on the chassis of a civil car — Ford F550. It has a typical configuration of an all-terrain vehicle with one rear and four side doors.
A standard Terradyne Gurkha is equipped with powertrain consisting of the modern 6.7-litre V8 engine (turbo diesel), electric motor, 12V electrical system and two batteries. Its fuel tank capacity is 151 l. This monster can be powered both by petrol engine and by electric traction if necessary.
Its major parameters are: length — 5,500 mm, height — 2,160 mm, width — 2,550 mm. This huge vehicle weighs 8,630 kg. Its ground clearance is 355 mm. The engine’s drive torque is transmitted to the wheels with the help of a six-speed automatic gearbox. 250-hp engine provides 150 km/h of top speed. The car features 650 km of highway fuel range.
Upgraded suspension is adjusted for off-road travelling and has two modes — On/Off road. The car is fitted with rear view cameras with displays.
The armoured construction of the vehicle (fifth level of protection) is able to stop a 12.7x99 mm hit and provides crew protection against small arms fire, artillery shell fragments and mine or IED explosions. This armoured vehicle can be even equipped with dynamic protection custom made by the Israel based company Rafael. This type of active armour provides protection of the crew against RPG-7 side-firing.
Barometer mounted in the central part of the dashboard indicates internal pressure in the landing compartment; a small display screen shows the work of the air-conditioning and air-filtering systems. The latter is meant for protection of the crew against the affecting factors of the chemical, nuclear or biological weapons.
The idea of creating armoured vehicles based on the stock commercial vehicles is not a new one. The size of an armoured car is similar to the size of a civil vehicle falling under this category and it is both off-road and street-legal without any restrictions. The armoured vehicle preserves the speed and handling capabilities of a commercial vehicle. It has enough room for a crew of two people plus a group of 4–6 troopers.
In December 2013 car tuning experts (like the ones from the famous MTV show “Pimp my Ride”) posted a photo of an aggressive-looking in the military style and comfortable in a civil style Terradyne Gurkha D2 Edition on the American site www.d2autosport.com. This promotional vehicle was intended to attract attention to the D2 team.
Slow Bucks, an influential hip-hop artist from New York, acquired the heavy all-terrain vehicle. He addressed the D2AUTOSPORT team, which had been dealing with vehicle maintenance for more than 10 years already, to upgrade his car. Right now the D2 brand has its own production line of special wheels (D2FORGED), auto electronics (D2AUTOSPORT) and quite recently it has launched a new modding and tuning programme intended for any automobile marquee (D2EDITION).
The company’s craftsmen managed to do quite a lot in just two weeks. They changed the colour of the vehicle’s main body from the military grey to the colour of the desert sand and added accents with the help of the glossy black powder coat. They fitted the car with the new massive 40-inch Toyo Open Country tyres. Black carpets were laid down. Seats were recovered in black leather with military tan inserts; head rests embroidered with the signature logo of the car’s owner — SBOE.
Loud and edgy music is essential for any hip hop artist — the audio system had a full overhaul with the help of the new audio setup with JL and Kenwood components. 15-inch flip down monitor was mounted on the car’s ceiling and meant for the entertainment of the back seat passengers. The car’s interior became more comfortable adding a more pleasant touch to its atmosphere.
All exterior marker lights and windows were tinted. To compliment the vehicle’s look the team created new military themed logos and added signature D2Autosport logos. The owner was quite satisfied with his renovated “city tank”.
INTERESTING TO KNOW
1) The first country to purchase a load of Gurkha LAPV’s is Nigeria. They are used there as both armoured vehicles and special police vehicles.
2) Gurkha is used in the following countries and regions: Australia (police); Bahrain; Bulgaria; Canada (police); Egypt (police); Iraq; Jamaica (police); Libya; Mexico (police); Nigeria; Oman; Saudi Arabia; UAE; USA; Russia (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
3) Gurkha LAPV was chosen to take part in the tender for replacement of Hummers used in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was put into service in 2007.
4) Terradyne Gurkha was used in the “Fast Five” (2011) movie and also in the “Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted” (2012) computer-animated film. And in 2014 it has been already spotted in the “RoboCop” movie.
5) J.R. Smith, American basketball star, Knicks' guard, cruises around New York in his Gurkha F5 (the car used in the “Fast Five” movie). The price tag of this vehicle built on the base of Balkan Mk3, an LAPV modification, is 450,000 USD.