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Commando Ranger

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years ago

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     This vehicle is used by specialist teams not needing a heavy combat capability or cross-country agility.

this version is fitted with a turret holding a .50 cal M2HB and a Stoner M63A belt-fed gun




     Rangers were produced to a USAF requirement by Cadillac-Gage in the late 1970s through early 1980s on a shortened Dodge 200 or Dodge Ram pickup truck chassis (built in Warren, MI), the same chassis as the CUCV. The first deliveries were in 1980. While they are four-wheel drive vehicles, various design issues made them ill-suited for off-road use.

     The suspension employs leaf springs; power steering and brakes are fitted.

     The Morrow Project employs them converted to fusion power.




     The following refers to fusion powered versions in Morrow Project service.


Crew:  varies by model, typical is 2 in front seats and 6 in rear

Weight:  empty, 3800 kg (with no turret); loaded, not more than 4900 kg; payload is thus 1100 kg (including crew and armament)

Length:  5.03 m

Width:  2.64 m

Height:  varies by model (2.03 meters to top of normal hull)

Ground clearance:  0.203 m (under hull)

Turning radius:  6.85 m

Track width:  1.7 m

Wheelbase:  2.64 m

Max speed: 

(road) 112 kph, but above 65 kph is not recommended

(offroad) 25 kph

Fording:  0.762 m

Gradient:  60%

Side slope:  30% (probably with the very lightest armament on the roof hatch)

Vertical obstacle:  0.254 m

Trench crossing:  0.25 m

Transmission:  automatic

Electrical system:  12 volt DC

Armament:  varies by model; typically a roof hatch carried a rotating gun mount for a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun.




     The Ranger has been produced with the following variants:


  • armored personnel carrier (with simple roof hatch and rotating gun mount)

  • armored personnel carrier, no roof hatch


  • armored personnel carrier, with small Cadillac-Gage turret

  • ambulance



ambulance version of the Ranger; I'm not sure what the big roof vent is for


  • command vehicle

  • police riot control/raid vehicle


     Not all the variants are in use by the Morrow Project; and no doubt there are a few Project variants not seen elsewhere.


Armor Protection


      The hull, turret, floor, hatches, gun shields (if present) etc. are constructed of  6.4 mm "Cadalloy" steel. The vision ports have glass 50 millimeters thick; the front windshield is laminated safety glass 64 millimeters thick.

     Game effects:  armor value 16, except the front windows, which are only 14 points.


Further Development by the Project


     Project Rangers often include the optional heating/air conditioning/NBC filter system, spare vision blocks, air compressor with hose, winch in the front bumper, and blackout covers.

     Two 60 liter water tanks replace the original fuel tank; they fill from outside. One tank is 'dirty', and two ceramic filters connect from that tank to the 'clean' tank; each filter can treat 10 liters of water per hour. Keep in mind that the filters will not remove chemical contaminants, viruses, and other small things.


how often should we clean the filters?

     Each filter gets "blocked up" when it has a kilogram of not-water stuck in it. For sea water, that's after about 60 liters of filtering, you have to clean the filters. Cleaning requires, among other things, a few liters of relatively clean water.


     Two GHT water taps are fitted internally on the rear left bulkhead, feeding from the 'clean' water tank; one provides 65o C hot water.

     The Mk 1 fusion pack has a maximum rating of 500 kilowatts output power; only about 100 kilowatts of that is used for propulsion. Output power is available at 24 V DC (for vehicle accessory systems), 12 V DC, 120 V AC and 240 V AC (for the motor and external accessories); outlets are available within the crew compartment and under the side engine hatch. The electric motor has a special 240 volt, 850 amp connection to the reactor. When fully-fueled, the reactor can run at full power (more than the vehicle needs to operate) for about 8 years. The reactor itself is a cylinder, 0.3 m diameter by 1 m long, and weighs 250 kg, including fuel. The Morrow Industries data plate describes it as "Electrical Generator, 500 kW". 

     The solid-state radiator consists of about two hundred vanes, about 10 cm by 10 cm, and a heavy fan to blow air over them. When the vehicle is driving along at top speed, heat output from the radiator is about 200 kilowatts. The radiator cools the reactor and the electric motor; a damaged radiator can quickly bring the vehicle to a stop. If the radiator is completely destroyed or disconnected, the reactor can only produce about 5 kilowatts of electrical power while remaining at safe operating temperatures. The radiator is made by Morrow Industries; an Electrical Repair or Electronics skill roll will identify the solid-state vanes as being futuristic technology.

     A pair of heavy, sealed 240 V batteries store a total of 3 kilowatt-hours of electrical power, or enough electricity to run the motor at full power for 2 minutes -- or the crew compartment heater and minor accessories all night. The reactor has a built-in battery for starting from shut-down; this power can't be drained down by vehicle systems or accessories. The batteries have Morrow Industries data plates; their name is given on the plates as "Vehicle Battery, 240 Volt". An Electrical Repair or Electronics skill roll will identify the batteries as being futuristic technology.

     The 100 kilowatt electric motor weighs about 50 kg. It is connected to a simple transmission, which also functions as a shock absorber between the engine and the drivetrain. The original parking brakes, slightly modified, are still in place (just after the transmission). The electric motors are expensive but contemporary, coming from various American manufacturers.

     Some versions will have a siren and public address system, and "police/fire" emergency lights. Some have a 5.5 ton capacity winch in the front bumper; another Project option are "hi rail" fittings, to allow conversion into a railway vehicle.


Maintenance and Installed Equipment


     Since the internal combustion engine has been entirely replaced, keeping the vehicle operating is much easier -- but it still needs preparation and maintenance.

  • Lubrication:  the differentials, axles, transfer case, springs, steering system, and wheel bearings need regular lubrication -- say, at least every six months. Less essential but still in need of lubricating are the door hinges, control clevises and pins, cables, seat moving parts, winch barrel and cable, turret rings, elevation and traverse gearboxes, etc. The largest amount of lubricant is in the two differentials, which each contain about 5 liters of gear oil. Chassis grease, gear oil and lubricating oil are needed. After fording, lubricate all exposed chassis points, the winch cable, and inspect axles for water.

  • Tires:  the four tires are 37x12.5" off-road "Goodyear Wrangler" models, with an inner rubber "doughnut" for run-flat operation; the tire itself (without the wheel) weighs 40 kg. At zero inflation pressure they can still be used for up to 80 kilometers of travel. Each wheel has twelve lug nuts.

  • Fire extinguishers:   three portable fire extinguishers within the vehicle must be tested.

  • Air filter and NBC system:  the NBC system has a washable filter; it should be cleaned after any suspicion of exposure to toxic agents, or to excessive dust. Note that the system doesn't know whether the vehicle is sealed or contaminated. It does have the equivalent of an M1 CBR Kit, connected to an M42 chemical alarm (a loud noise, blinking light kinda thing). The chemical alarm is on a simple "field telephone" two-wire cable, 5 meters long (but longer cables could easily be arranged).

  • Water filter:  the two drinking water tanks each have a washable ceramic filter; they should be exchanged with the spares at regular intervals, or if the local water supply is known to be contaminated, and washed thoroughly with clean water.



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