Military Embedded Systems

Polaris eyes cold-weather military mission market


May 09, 2024

Flavia Camargos Pereira

Military Embedded Systems

Polaris supplies the MRZR Alpha in an Arctic version featuring tracking. (Polaris Government & Defense image.)

SOF WEEK 2024 -- TAMPA, Fla. Aware of the growing demand for cold-weather capabilities, Polaris Government & Defense -- which supplies heavy-duty vehicles for battlefield, public safety, and government use -- has been increasing its portfolio: The supplier markets the MRZR Alpha in an Arctic version and recently introduced two new military snowmobiles, the 650 TITAN 155 and 850 PRO RMK 155.

“The market for Arctic platforms is steady and strong on both the military and the commercial side. Cold-weather mobility has been an important requirement,” stated Nick Francis, Vice President of Polaris. 

The 650 TITAN and 850 PRO RMK were engineered with the input of the company’s snowmobile customers and integrated several modifications to better support military missions.

These over-snow reconnaissance vehicles (OSRVs) have a "blackout mode" with a single switch turning off all lights for discreet operation and infrared lighting that provides visibility to operators while in blackout mode. The platforms also have white body panels to enable camouflage.

In terms of power, the OSRVs are equipped with 12 V outlets to charge handheld electronics and other mission essentials. A related feature is a power-boosting regulator, which automatically provides maximum electrical power at idle and low RPMs to support the 12 V outlet, as well as added accessories.

The snowmobiles are built on the company's Matryx platform with the powerful 650 Patriot engine and a handlebar with a mountain hoop to provide better operator ride angle and control. 

The 650 TITAN 155 (image below, left) accommodates a passenger and another 125 pounds in the cargo area and is fitted with a hitch to tow a trailer and an additional 1200 pounds of mission-critical supplies. A winch provides 1500 pounds of capacity for vehicle recovery or to move obstacles. This OSRV is fitted with an all-new, patented BackTrak20 rear suspension, high-clearance independent front suspension, and Trailbreaker skis. TITAN’s transmission has high and low gearing for controlled power distribution and added initial engine torque for heavy loads. Its cooling system and radiator helps to optimize the TITAN’s engine temp during slow-speed operation while towing heavy loads and in low-snow conditions for more reliable operation and dependability.

For its part, the 850 PRO RMK 155 (image below, right) is a lighter-weight snowmobile engineered for patrol and reconnaissance, with an extended track and tapered tunnel to increase performance in deep snow and a full-length cooler for reliability in marginal snow conditions. Its high-elevation clutch calibration is built to provide optimal operation at increased altitudes while its shock absorbers enable adjustability for varying rider and kit weight and size for greater control and precise handling.

Polaris also supplies the MRZR Alpha in an Arctic version with heater and defrost systems; the platform features a cab enclosure and a track system with low ground pressure to enable improved mobility. The track system replaces each wheel with a separate track assembly, maintaining the same level of maneuverability while improving off-road mobility and all-terrain capability over snow, soft soil, and mixed terrain, an approach Francis calls wise from both a logistics standpoint and a cost standpoint. 

The MRZR Alpha recently was demonstrated to several countries in Europe and underwent testing in the Asia-Pacific region.

Featured Companies

Polaris Government and Defense

2100 Hwy 55
Medina, MN 55340