The US military fields some pretty impressive vehicles, but they aren’t worth much if they don’t fit on the aircraft intended to transport them. Last month, the US Navy removed one obstacle when it cleared the Boeing Phantom Badger combat support vehicle for transport inside a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. After a battery of tests, including form-fit checks, pressure tests and structural evaluations of over four G’s, the modular vehicle was a step closer to deployment by the US Marine Corps and US Air Force Special Operations.
While the Osprey can carry vehicles via sling load externally, that negates the speed the Osprey is capable of.
You won’t get much of a vehicle inside an Osprey. But for supporting heavy(ish) weapons and carrying ammunition and supplies, you have to have at least some sort of prime mover. The Phantom Badger, like all light vehicles, will be vulnerable to mines, IEDs, and small arms fire. But in a war of maneuver, the enemy won’t have as much opportunity to emplace mine and IEDs, and terrain can often be used to screen the vehicles from the worst of small arms.
Certainly, seeing Boeing and a NASCAR oriented shop team up is innovative.