Previously, the Desert Patrol Vehicle, which is one vehicle used by the US Navy SEALs, was known as the Fast Attack Vehicle (FAV). Production on this sandrail-like, off-road vehicle began in 1991 at Chenowth Racing Products, Inc. The DPV is a high-speed, lightly armored vehicle which is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 60 mph. It has an operational range of 200+ miles.
The Desert Patrol Vehicle is a Naval Special Warfare (NSW) mobility asset which first saw combat during the Gulf War. The DPV was widely used throughout Operation Desert Storm. When the US Navy SEALs entered Kuwait City the day it was liberated, they arrived in DPVs.
The Desert Patrol Vehicle was limited in maximizing its weapons capabilities. Recoilless rifles unfortunately still had sufficient recoil to cause the DPV to flip over. The TOW missiles could not be used as US Army regulations required a three man team for TOW operation and the DPV carried only two. Though Army doctrine could be revised, it would have also meant incorporating TOW deployment throughout the Army. Though, Ft. Benning in Columbus, GA proposed a design change to the Desert Patrol Vehicle which increased the crew capability to three, it was rejected.
Basic Weapons for the DPV
- 1 - .50 cal M2 Browning machine gun
- 2 – 7.62x52mm M60 machine guns
- 2 – M136 AT4 anti-armor weapons
The DPVs are equipped with a 2-liter, air cooled engine which is capable of producing 130 hp with a 1,500 lb payload. Two shock absorbers are located in the front on either side with four additional shock absorbers at the rear. This SEAL Dune Buggy includes a complex communication system that allows each SEAL to communicate with the others while riding in the vehicles.
The Desert Patrol Vehicle (DPV) has proven to be a dependable and beneficial asset to the US Navy SEALs.