The M274, known as the Mechanical MULE, was developed out of a requirement for an infantry ammunition, light cargo, personnel, and weapons carrier. The A1 had a 4 cylinder air-cooled gasoline engine, while the A2, A3, A4 and A5 a 2 cylinder air-cooled gasoline engine. All types were basically the same shape, though materials differed between versions (for example the A4 platform is made of a magnesium alloy, while the later A5 version is made of aluminium). The vehicles have 4-wheel drive and 4-wheel steer, with the exception of the A5, which has 4 wheel drive, two wheel steer. Only the A5 has electronic ignition as standard. All models are equipped with a two-speed gear transfer and a three-speed forward, one reverse speed transmission.
These vehicles will operate over all types of road, cross-country terrain, and in all types of weather. It is also capable of fording in up to 18 inches of water.
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