The Ranger Special Operations Vehicle or RSOV is a light military vehicle of the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment, based on the Land Rover Defender. The RSOV is not meant to be an assault vehicle, but a rapid defensive platform-type vehicle instead.
The RSOV's design is based on the Land Rover Defender Model 110, having different specifications from the British Weapons Mount Installation Kit. It is designed for a crew of three and up to 7 passengers.
For a typical operation, both vehicles in an RSOV section would be equipped with various machine guns at the forward Truck Commander (TC) station, with a Mk 19 grenade launcher at the top gunner position in one vehicle, and a Browning .50 cal M2 machine gun mounted on that top position in the other vehicle.
In addition to the RSOVs with their crew-served weapons, each Ranger battalion has two medical variants of the Defender known as a Medical Special Operations Vehicle (MEDSOV). Instead of the weapon mounts found on standard RSOVs, the MEDSOV variant has fold-down racks capable of carrying six litter patients. Along with its transported casualties, a typical MEDSOV crew would include a driver, a TC and two or three medics to treat the wounded.
Another RSOV variant used by the Ranger battalion mortar platoon. Known as MORTSOVs, the platoon's two Defenders—they also have three Humvees—replace the top-gun configuration with storage boxes and guy wires that allow the vehicle to carry thirty 120 mm (4.7 in) mortar rounds along with the extra equipment required by the platoon. In addition to its on-board carrying capacity, the MORTSOVs can be used to tow the platoon's 120 mm (4.7 in) mortars.
A RSOV communications variant is also used.
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