Wheeled Improvised Fighting Vehicle (IFV)
The Technical has evolved much from the days of World War 1 and is heavily relied upon by irregular fighting forces of the world.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The "Technical" is a generic name given to make-shift military vehicles crudely developed on the chassis of existing 4x4 all-wheel drive civilian-minded vehicles - typically seen as a flatbed pickup truck whose driving cabin is the only obstruction for any trainable weapon installed over the rear section. Technicals are low-cost options for low-budget militaries and militia groups requiring mobile firepower and provide a fast-attack capability against both established forces and lesser foes. Such vehicles serve well for local intimidation, as reconnaissance mounts, and in the ambush role where their weaponry can be quickly brought to bear on unsuspecting targets. The versatility of the platform is only limited by the imagination of the fighting force and the tolerances of the chassis in play. Throughout history, Technicals have been fitted with an array of light-to-medium-class military hardware - rocket projectors (in the MLRS role), heavy machine guns, medium machine guns, recoilless rifles, and complete Anti-Aircraft (AA) cannon systems being just some examples. The usual inherent four-wheel drive functionality allows for a certain level of off-road performance though this is sometimes hampered by the weight of the combat equipment installed. Additionally, Technicals usually forgo armor protection and supply very little survivability to its crew.
The modern day form of the Technical emerged from the fighting in Somalia during the early 1990s. However, such improvised vehicles saw their origins much earlier during the fighting of World War 1 (1914-1918) where standard civilian-minded chassis (truck or car) were modified as roving ground attack vehicles through installation of weapons and armor plating. In some cases, the results were viable war machines but, in others, the vehicles were too heavy for off-road use and clumsy to wield in action thanks to their high profiles. Nevertheless, the low-cost option allowed warplanners an edge over less technically-advanced foes though, on a modern battlefield against a technically superior enemy, Technicals have proven poor battle wagons that offer little tactical value. The Technical evolved throughout the interwar years since The Great War and saw additional work on their kind during the fighting of World War 2 (1939-1945) - particularly in far-off places where soldiers had to make do with what was available to them.
From the Cold War onwards, Technicals have proven ever-popular for both regular and irregular forces across the African continent and the Middle East region of the world where utility trucks have proven readily available - these vehicles usually combined with old stocks of Soviet- or American-originated weaponry as available. Special forces operatives and mercenaries alike have also come to rely on the Technical through their own work in these regions. Iraqi police were issued a Toyota-based Technical as their ranks were rebuilt following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and Syrian rebels in the ongoing Syrian Civil War (2011-Present) have heavily, and continually, relied on the Technical in their march against the Assad-led government.