Toyota Hilux (Utility vehicle)

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The Toyota Hilux is Japanese design 4 wheeled pickup truck considered the smaller sibling of the also iconic Land Cruiser. It is not really a purpose-designed military vehicle but a commercial 4×4 vehicle intended for civil market , however due to its reliability, durability and off-road performance it is widely used by various military and paramilitary units, non-governmental organizations and even insurgent groups from all over the world. Several generations of the Hilux have changed, and this pickup truck is still in production. Though over the years several modifications were made to these vehicles. Since 2015 eighth generation vehicles are produced. This vehicle is being assembled in Japan and several other countries located all over the world.

The Hilux pickups are very popular around the world most particularly Africa, Middle East, and South America. The 1980s war between Chad and Libya was named the Toyota War because of the heavy use of Land Cruisers and Hiluxes by both parties. Currently the most often encounter models, used by military and paramilitary users are the seventh-generation vehicles, that were produced between 2004 and 2015. Even the US special forces in Afghanistan use Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks, that are US-versions of the Toyota Hilux.

Military Use

This light vehicle is more suited for non-tactical roles hence is often used by non-frontline and paramilitary units, that operate in rear echelon away from front lines

These vehicles are mostly used by military’s as utility vehicles to carry weapons, supplies and most importantly soldiers. The Hiluxes can easily get converted into improvised fighting vehicles by getting custom armor in specific areas, armed with general purpose or heavy machine guns, mounted on tripods in the cargo area during patrols.

Because of their high mobility off road, easily maintenance and speed they prove highly effective at transporting troops, delivering supply is and when needed getting improvised as suppressing vehicle by mounting a machine gun in low density conflict theater. (As clarification they are mostly meant to be used as transportation utility vehicles behind front lines do not combat vehicles in militaries)

Insurgency Use

In recent years, the Toyota helix in general has started to become more associated with militant groups most commonly ISIS. This is due to extensive use of these vehicles by ISIS and other similar forces for fighting purposes. These groups know about the truck’s high reliability, mobility and easy to acquire facts so they exploit it to get an effective machine of war.

By putting everything ranging from machine guns to cannons or missile launchers on these trucks many militant groups turned these things into their standard combat vehicle. ISIS most notably acquired mastery of these tactics and used them during their initial offensives.

 

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