Brits militarize Jeep Wrangler for spec ops duty

PARIS — A British company took the classic Jeep Wrangler and militarized it in hopes of selling it to foreign armies unveiling its special forces variant Monday here at Eurosatory 2012.

Jankel started out selling sports cars in the 1950s and then specialized limousines to the ultra rich until 15 years ago when their clientele started dying off. Since then, they’ve entered the military market and haven’t looked back.

The company partnered with Chrysler, builder of Jeep, in 2008 to help it sell the iconic American Jeep to foreign armies. Now, they look to challenge Mercedes Benz and Land Rover to supply Europe’s armies with their future tactical wheeled fleets. It’s Europe’s answer to America’s Humvee.

Jankel’s hope is that European armies squeezed by shrinking budgets will look to the cheaper Jeep versus Mercedes Benz. Ghana and Uruguay have already bought variants of the Jeep J8 family of vehicles for UN missions.

Switzerland has started to test Jankel’s personnel and cargo carrier variant. Jeep J8 features six variants to include the light patrol and border patrol; personnel carrier; cargo and communications; military armored; ambulance; and pickup/chassis cab.

The Jeeps feature seats U.S. soldiers should recognize. Jankel’s has installed their blast limiting attenuation seats into vehicles like the Oshkosh Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle the U.S. Army drives in Afghanistan.

The special forces variant called the Pegasus is the sexiest member of the family. It is named after the Pegasus Bridge crossing the Caen Canal the British 6th Airborne Division wrenched from the Germans in the invasion of Normandy in World War II. Lets just say Newman might have met a different fate at the end of Jurassic Park if he was driving this Jeep variant with two .50 caliber machine guns mounted to the Jeep’s roof and backseat.

Pegasus was built to load inside a CH-47 Chinook with the ability to unload it in 15 seconds. The Jeep is powered by a direct injection, common rail, turbo charged, intercooled diesel engine. The 24 volt electrical system features one NATO jump socket with two USB sockets.

Pegasus built the frame to fit inside the Chinook. The frame is 201 inches long, 79 inches wide, 72 inches tall with an 11 inch ground clearance. It has a curb weight of 6,610 pounds and a potential payload of 3,310 pounds.

The off road capabilities of the Pegasus have been beefed up to take on the stress of a special operations capability set. It can scale a 60% gradient and a 40%  side slope with the driver only.

Pegasus can carry four special operators and maybe a fifth in a pinch. Unit commanders can add an extended range fuel tank as well as underslung airlift solutions.

Lorne Stoddart, a commercial manager for Jankel, said they have targeted seven countries interested in Pegasus. He offered Holland as an example of one country who will have requirements to buy a vehicle like Pegasus.

Andrew Jankel, Jankel’s chairman, said his company chose not to bid for the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Ground Mobility Vehicle program because of the constantly changing requirements. He would prefer to let the BAE Systems and General Dynamics of the world fight that out.

Of course, if Congress can’t get its act together and avoid sequestration, then all bets are off and U.S. special operators might soon find themselves inside the Pegasus.

— Mike Hoffman

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at
  • tee

    I agree, when can I get one ?

  • Nied

    A military Jeep? Never thought I’d see the day…

    • Gunner

      how about WWII:-)

  • Rohan

    Itzzzz much better having MUD RALLY with these toys……..der appearance r cool but de only show up in true colours in a war !!!

  • Jayson

    A NICE! upgrade to the ol’ Willeys. Hmmm … actually it’s come full circle I guess you can say.

  • blight_

    Lightweight and mobile. Makes sense, versus using the comparatively heavier Humvees. People will likely get obsessed about V-bottoms and mine resistance, but there’s a time and a place for that stuff.

  • Prodozul

    So it’s heading back to its roots?

  • Tim

    Do the “two .50 caliber machine guns mounted to the Jeep’s roof and backseat” come as “option”? If so how much and where can I get one?

    I think there will be more than just 9 countries wanting it.

  • Lance

    For the first time in a long time the UK made alot more sense than the US on a light scout vehicle. Jeep was always better then a large target the HUMVEE is and even larger easier to see JLTV so Hope we can learn from our British allies.

    • John

      Sorry, but the Brits were not first to the scene of a militarized Jeep.

      Jeep themselves made the J8 military variant available a while ago, which is VERY similar to this unit. Not sure why this one is getting attention over the J8.

  • Guest A

    I’ll take one in OD green please.

    • blight_

      Multicam or other fancy cam?

      • Guest A

        That would be really tacticool.

  • Skyepapa

    The US invents and uses the Jeep, in partnership with the British, to defeat the Germans, then eventually abandons the line in favor of something new. Germans reinvent Jeep (Chrysler is German now), and a British company reintroduces it to military service as a more pragmatic solution to infantry mobility. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • blight_

      Woah, woah. They haven’t been German since Daimler divested themselves, and then Cerberus comes in and sticks them with Fiat.

      • Skyepapa

        Woops, my mistake!

        • Skyepapa

          One could still argue that Daimler breathed new life into the brand before they sent it packing. So in a sense, still a little ironic.

          • blight_

            Well, they gave birth to the Pacifica (shudder). The 300 wasn’t too bad. Magnum? Station wagons weren’t popular. The Caliber? Blech. Charger not bad. Challenger, hrm…

          • John

            Nope, Daimler nearly ruined Chrysler by siphoning off all their money and funds and giving it over to Mercedes (The SLS AMG was supposed to be the new Viper).

            Fiat came in and is turning Chrysler around now.

            And Jeep was way ahead of everyone with bringing the jeep back to military duty when they introduced the J8 to military use, look up the Jeep J8 and be surprised.

            “Jeep, there’s only one”

    • SJE

      half right. The original Jeeps were used to defeat the Italians too. Now the Italians own Chrysler.

  • blight_

    Funny how it’s the new long wheelbase Wrangler, and not the more compact one. Then again…

  • EJ257

    “It’s Europe’s answer to America’s Humvee”

    I had to LOL a little when I read this. So the answer one American 4×4 is another American 4×4?

    • blight_

      Agreed. Besides, Europe already has a few utility vehicles of its own, and this vehicle is clearly not analogous to the Humvee, unless you equate a vehicle with reasonable ground clearance, four tires and a fifty-cal to a Humvee.

  • Black Owl

    Has anyone checked to see if one of those could fit inside an Osprey? If it does then we REALLY need to buy those.

    • FormerDirtDart

      It won’t, not much will. That is why SOCOM has not included V-22 internal transportability in their GMV requirements.
      SOCOM will likely modify and use for select operations whatever vehicle is procured out of the Air Force’s “Guardian Angel” program.

      • blight_

        Well, at least we’ve given up on that one.

    • 6113

      There is a vehicle that will fit in one that the Marines were testing out a few yrs ago. Not really sure whatever happend to it, but it kinda looked like and was about the same size as an old WW2 jeep with roll bars, and a mount for an M2.

      • FormerDirtDart

        The Growler Internally Transportable Vehicle. GD is the primary contractor now. Two variants: the Light Strike Vehicle (LSV) and the Prime Mover Vehicle (PMV) for the M327 Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS), of which two vehicles are needed per system. One for the mortar, and another for an ammunition trailer.
        I believe the PMVs run over $350,000 per mortar system (2 w/o the mortar), and the LSVs around $200,000 apiece.

        • Josh

          Yeah I read those prices a little while ago, absolutely mind boggling how something so simple can cost so damn much! Definitely more than a healthy margin in there for GD!

          • FormerDirtDart

            A John Deere Gator or Polaris Ranger probably could have accomplished the mortar prime mover requirement at a significant savings. Though, they likely wouldn’t match the paved road speeds of the ITVs

          • blight_

            ATVs would be nice. I mean, the LRDG moved around in open vehicles with minimum protection as well. Below a certain weight class there’s no realistic expectation of protection.

    • Tim

      The article said it could fit inside a Chinook. So, unless the V-22 is internally smaller than the Chinook, it could fit.

      • Josh

        A V22 is a lot smaller internally than a Chinook, see FormerDirtDart’s post above. Not much will actually fit in an Osprey, thus the painfully expensive Growler.

      • FormerDirtDart

        V-22s have a maximum cargo width of 60 inches. You can roll a HMMWV into a Chinook.. It take a little time and patience, but they fit, two actually.

    • ExOperator

      I’m a vertically challenged individual, and I can stand in the middle of a Osprey and outstretch my arms and touch both sides. Width wise it won’t fit, but height wise it may. My memory on it’s interior height is a little fizzy.

      • FormerDirtDart

        I doubt it would get in height wise either. The Marines Light Strike Vehicle has to collapse its gun mount/roll cage to fit in via the rear ramp

  • mpower6428

    now why didnt we think of that…? oh yea, i almost forgot, its because we’ve have a nearly unlimited, severly overleveraged budget based on corporate/politician “quid pro quo”.

  • PolicyWonk

    Maybe the USA should be considering something smaller as well… The Jeep design is timeless.

  • IainF

    Put some Multisorb on it and youre in business!

  • dubweiser101

    I own a Wrangler and really want to get my hands on the plans the Brits used to “pimp” their Wrangler. Rush our is a bitch these days and it’s every man and machine for himself!

    This is sweet!

    • shawn1999

      I don’t think Rush hour will give you trouble if you have the Pegasus Bridge version ;~)

  • Josh

    Hell I want one. I have always loved Wranglers. Plus what better to protect the family on a trip than this beast!

  • stephen russell

    Love to rent one & get one dressed up for TV show Rat Patrol LRDG with single MA2 50 cal on Jeep rear.
    Awesome to Own & Rent.
    Id drive one around Big time.
    Use Range River engine?

  • Hikerguy

    History re.apeats and the jeep makes its return. And, an inexpensive one at that. It does make a lot of sense, especially for third world countries and others who are broke.

  • anthony

    I would like to have my Willy from Nam era never a problem with engine,tires nothing I miss that one2 years I should have been able to buy it from army when I leftfor stateside..

  • Tad

    This is really cool and all, but… As a Jeep owner, the one thing that frustrates me is seeing over the hood to stuff just in front of the vehicle. One often has to look out the driver’s side window to see objects that are just ahead. If there was some way to shorten the hood, slope it downwards more, whatever, then I’d say the design is perfect.

    • blight_

      That’s always been a problem with SUVs and light trucks. The high ground clearance required for off-roading tends to make things worse. Then if you want the cab to be lower to bring the center of gravity down, then you can’t see over the engine.

  • Franklin

    Jeepers thats a humdinger!

  • captaindoc

    this is the sensible way for military equipment. this type of vehicle is needed for use in most situations of patrol and fast deployment. the humvee is way to big for normal operations in countries where the roads serve normal vehicles(try and turn one of the big tu-ds around) and can cause many problems for all concerned, don’t dare drive a humvee down a back alley. loading the humvee with armour did not stop ied’s damage and death to occupants so loading this one with the armour may not help much against the proven ied(the more armour added is offset by additional explosive material) even the mrap is not surviving a hit. sounds like a good vehicle for the use intended.

  • ironked

    Chrysler left the Benz family years ago. It’s majority owned by Fiat now. HumVee on the other hand is sort of out in the cold with the SUV hating. part-GM-owner, Obama administration pushing to sell it’s domestic division to the Chinese. In a way I hope Jeep makes a killing in the military market.

    • FormerDirtDart

      The HMMWV is produced by AM General, which has never been a part of GM.
      AM General sold right to the Hummer brand to GM. AM General built the Hummer H1s for GM (until their line ended in 2006). Am General continued to produce part for the rest of the Hummer brand vehicles.

  • Tony

    Jankel J8 Pegasus BPV spec sheet:

    More info, pics, and spec sheets for other models at:

    • FormerDirtDart

      No, that is not the spec sheet of the vehicle discussed in this article.

  • 00 Del

    How is that different from Chrysler’s military version of the Jeep (export only, unfortunately)?

  • Matt Holzmann

    any kevlar?

  • medbill

    If Congress doesn’t get their act together US Forces might be on foot and horseback again!

  • RON


    • FormerDirtDart

      I watched “Play Dirty” yesterday actually

  • Nanjing03

    I have a 4D Jeep Wrangler — and now I have to resist these neat upgrades. ;) Boy it’s tough being a Jeep owner. I have to admit that we could have used them when I was in Iraq. Upgraded /uparmored Humvees were a bit much for general purpose use and we ended up using off-the-shelf 4×4 Ford and Chevy pick-ups to fill the gap.

  • llofar

    Isn’t it ironic the Brits have built this!!!! lol

  • William

    Yup, you and Gunner both did.

  • DisabledVeteran

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Jeep FANATIC and I want one of these – but I would be interested to see if they’ve addressed the narrow doorframe issue. Getting in and out of the newer Wranglers without barking your shins is difficult wearing penny loafers and a golfing hat – much less combat gear and carrying a PDW…

  • grimmkommando XBL

    Jeep Wrangler is a beast and always will be one.

  • bazz

    dont know why they are bothering, they will never be better than Land Rover!