The Army wants an autonomous-capable replacement for select variants of the Palletized Load System, Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck and M915 Truck Tractor and has released a request for information to assess industry's ability to provide one.
"The current fleet of heavy tactical wheeled vehicles, which includes the PLS, HEMTT, and M915 Tractor, are no longer aligned with current technology," an RFI posted today states. "The USG is seeking information from vehicle manufacturers able to provide a contemporary replacement for our aging fleet leveraging the advancements available within industry. The feedback and information received in response to this RFI will inform our acquisition strategy for the next generation of heavy tactical wheeled vehicles.”
The Next Generation Future Truck would be "a purpose-built, multi-axle, ruggedized, fuel-efficient wheeled vehicle with a dedicated payload area configured to mission requirements" and gives commanders "flexibility to conduct both semi-autonomous and autonomous transportation operations," according to the notice.
"The purpose of modernizing the current fleet is to improve force protection, efficiency, and throughput," the RFI states. "Integration of autonomy features will enhance force protection through iterative autonomy technology maturation, which will eventually allow for fully autonomous navigation. This capability reduces soldier vulnerability by providing an option to deliver supplies based on real-time demand, independently and simultaneously, to multiple outposts via varied routes. Leveraging commercial investments in autonomy and Army technology currently in development for Leader-Follower, throughput will be increased while also providing increased manpower flexibility."
The NGFT would replace the PLSA1, HEMTTA4 and M195 line haul.
The Army desires five variants of the NGFT: a "Wrecker variant" to recover and evacuate Stryker, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, and other tactical wheeled vehicles up to 40 tons; an "LHS Heavy variant with crane" to transport a NATO and M3 CROP demountable cargo bed with up to 16 tons of cargo payload; a "Tractor variant" operable with the M870 equipment hauler with payloads of 40 tons, M871, M172 and M872 line haul, M967 tanker, M1062 tanker, future tanker (8,200 gallons), and commercial standard trailers; a "Tanker variant" with a 2,500 gallon threshold or objective fuel payload greater than 2,500 gallons; and a "Cargo Bed variant with crane" capable of a minimum of 5,500 pounds at 20 feet of extension carrying a payload of up to 22 tons or greater.
Responses to the RFI will be accepted through Aug. 24.