USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 Interim Fast Attack Vehicle

The USMC Interim Fast Attack Vehicle is a modified version of the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen 290. It replaces the modified M-151A2 1/4 ton truck (MUTT jeep) used by the Marines as a FAV in the 1990s. The vehicles were developed specifically for the military in a joint venture by DaimlerChrysler and Washington D.C.ís Advanced Vehicle Systems.

The IFAV has a 156 horsepower turbo-charged diesel engine, capable of propelling the vehicle at speeds of up to 96 mph and enables the vehicle to climb terrain with a grade up to 80 percent. The vehicle nets an impressive 18 to 22 miles per gallon, a big improvement from the 12 mpg typical of other tactical vehicles. Military modifications to the G-Wagon 290 include a larger engine, air conditioning, an automatic transmission, half-doors and an integrated light armor kit.

Rear view: USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 IFAV with improvised counter-sniper armor plate, Iraq, 30 May 2004.  Photo courtesy Sean Philyaw, EuroTruck Importers, LLC
Rear view: USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 IFAV with improvised counter-sniper armor plate, Iraq, 30 May 2004. Photo courtesy Sean Philyaw, EuroTruck Importers, LLC.

Today in WW II: 22 May 1939 Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany sign the Pact of Steel, a declaration of trust and cooperation that also included secret provisions on military and economic matters.   

USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 Interim Fast Attack Vehicle

The Marine Corps acquired 62 of the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 IFAVs distributed as follows:

  • I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Camp Pendleton, CA (24)
  • II MEF Camp Lejeune, NC (24)
  • III MEF on Okinawa, Japan (12)
  • Marine Corps Systems Command (retained for configuration management) (2)

Ultimately eighteen of the vehicles were being utilized by a special operations group in Iraq, a unit that disbanded in 2006. In May 2006, the vehicles were sent from Camp Pendleton to Fleet Support Division Barstow where photos on this page were taken.

The IFAV is internally transportable (CH-53) and supports a range of weapon systems such as the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, the Mk19 40mm Grenade Launcher, or the Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided (TOW) missile system.

USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 Interim Fast Attack Vehicle
USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 Interim Fast Attack Vehicle, USMC Fleet Support Division, Barstow, CA, August 2006.

USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 Interim Fast Attack Vehicle
Close up of first vehicle from above photo of the USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 Interim Fast Attack Vehicle, , USMC Fleet Support Division, Barstow, CA, August 2006.

USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 Interim Fast Attack Vehicle
USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 Interim Fast Attack Vehicle, with M2 .50 cal. machine gun.

USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 Interim Fast Attack Vehicle
USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 Interim Fast Attack Vehicle in use by Marines with Headquarters Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU(SOC)) at the Kandahar International Airport, Kandahar, Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom, 19 January 2002.

USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 IFAV with improvised counter-sniper armor plate, Iraq, 30 May 2004.  Photo courtesy Sean Philyaw, EuroTruck Importers, LLC
USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 IFAV with improvised counter-sniper armor plate, Iraq, 30 May 2004. Photo courtesy Sean Philyaw, EuroTruck Importers, LLC.

USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 IFAV with improvised counter-sniper armor plate, Iraq, 30 May 2004.  Photo courtesy Sean Philyaw, EuroTruck Importers, LLC
USMC Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 290 IFAV with improvised counter-sniper armor plate, Iraq, 30 May 2004. Photo courtesy Sean Philyaw, EuroTruck Importers, LLC.

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