PICKUP BATTLEWAGONS

The use of technicals, or improvised fighting vehicles, dates back to World War One – Craig Allen finds out more about them

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Model Two-door or double cab pick-up
  • Manufacturer Toyota
  • Country Japan (also assembled in Columbia, Thailand, Philippines, and others)
  • Year 1968 to present (eight generations)
  • Engine Petrol 2.4litre, diesel 2.4litre and 3litre (later models with turbo)
  • Transmission Five or six-speed manual
  • (automatics available from four to six-speed)
  • Suspension 4x4 coil-sprung
  • Top Speed 80mph-plus on-road
  • Economy 38mpg diesel, 28mpg petrol
  • Armament Various including a machine gun, anti-aircraft cannon, grenade launcher, rocket/missile launcher
  • Capacity As many as can be crammed in
  • Weight 2,000kg (average, less weapon systems)

It seems that no news report from a conflict zone is not complete without footage of a Toyota pick-up packed with armed men and bristling with weapons. These improvised fighting vehicles – commonly known as technicals – seem to have become ubiquitous on modern battlefields. Nominally a light 4x4 truck or pick-up mounting a machine gun, anti-aircraft cannon or rocket launcher, they have become widely popular with insurgent groups and irregular forces the world over. But where does the idea come from?

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