The Next Humvee: Army, Marines Weigh Options
By Sandra I. Erwin
The Army and Marine Corps may decide as early as May 2007 to begin searching for a new vehicle that would replace the ubiquitous Humvee.
But even though both services have indicated their intent and desire to buy a new light tactical truck, they are nowhere close to agreeing on exactly what kind of vehicle they want.
During the next 12 months, Army and Marine officials will evaluate industry “white papers” and several prototype vehicles in an attempt to paint a realistic picture of what the industry has to offer, and ultimately settle on what to buy.
Overseeing this effort is Army Col. John Myers, program manager for future tactical systems. His office was created last October specifically to help define performance specs for the new vehicle, and determine whether the services will be ready to solicit bids from manufacturers by May 2007.
“Between now and the milestone decision in May 2007, we are going to create a joint program office to deal with the joint light tactical vehicle,” Myers says in a recent interview. “At this point, it is a discussion for the Army and the Marines to look at what technologies are out there and, if we were to establish a new program for a future truck, what it’s going to have in it,” says Myers.
Ultimately it will be up to the Army’s top leadership to establish “at what point you stop funding current trucks and start funding a new truck,” he adds. “We need a requirements document before we get money. It’s too premature at this point to assume we’ll get production money. We are in a concept phase.”
A “request for information” published by the Marine Corps in January offers a glimpse of the services’ wish-lists and points to the difficulties they will face in trying to accommodate divergent Army and Marine requirements into a single vehicle.
The most likely scenario is that both services will buy different variants, even though they will be part of the same family of vehicles. “The Marines want a variant that is more combat oriented … The Army wants some other vehicles for utility missions, to carry shelters,” says Myers. “How many variants we end up with depends on the requirements. We don’t know yet.”
The request for information asks manufacturers to propose ideas on how to build a “joint light tactical vehicle” with multiple configurations: a six-passenger combat truck, a command and control vehicle, a light weapons platform, an ambulance, a utility truck, a reconnaissance and a combat engineer support vehicle.
Trucks will require two levels of protection: basic standard armor and add-on kits.
Other desired features include electronic jammers, run flat tires, instant fire suppression in the engine and cabin, and fording capability. Built-in communications systems also will be sought in new trucks, including tracking devices, satellite radios and command-and-control terminals.
Officials from the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and the Army Training and Doctrine Command are sorting through a number of white papers that were sent by contractors in recent weeks.
Also feeding into the decision-making process is an ongoing Army competition for which truck makers are building prototype trucks and equipping them with advanced technologies. The competition, known as the “future tactical truck system,” or FTTS, will culminate in early 2007 with a drive-off at the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., and a “user evaluation” by Army Stryker units at Fort Lewis, Wash.
The FTTS includes a heavy 13-ton truck prototype, made by Stewart & Stevenson, and two light utility trucks — one designed by International Truck and Engine Co., and another by Lockheed Martin Corp. The outcome of the technology demonstration in FTTS may influence the requirements of the joint Army-Marine Humvee replacement program, officials say.
The FTTS light truck prototypes are being mischaracterized as Humvee replacements, which has spread confusion among suppliers, says Jeff Carie, Army project manager for the FTTS light vehicle. “There is nothing in production today that meets the Army’s requirements,” Carie says. “We have lots of components and technologies. We are kluging it.”
The manufacturers of the competing FTTS vehicles that will be evaluated later this year hope to eventually be in the running to build the future Humvee. “If we didn’t see that, we wouldn’t be playing at all,” says Chris Buttelle, from International Truck.
Lockheed, whose truck design was acquired via the takeover of a U.K. firm, also recognizes that winning FTTS offers no guarantees of any future production work. The program is helping the Army and the Marine Corps fine-tune their requirements, says Kathryn Hasse, director of tactical wheeled vehicles at Lockheed.
Other companies also plan to participate in any future competition. General Dynamics Land Systems Canada is producing an armored patrol vehicle for the Danish Army that it plans to propose to the U.S. military. The vehicle, called the Duro, is a “Humvee on steroids,” says Gary Third, GDLS business development manager.
The manufacturer of the Humvee, AM General, expects to capitalize on its incumbent status and convince the Army that the latest version of the Humvee is far more capable than any potential challenger. In any future competition for a replacement, “we’ll be there,” says Craig MacNab, spokesman for AM General. He says the company has, over time, upgraded the Humvee to the point that the latest variants are “dramatically different” from the two-decades-old vehicles that still dominate the Army’s light-truck fleet.
Lt. Gen. David F. Melcher, Army deputy chief of staff, says the average age of the Humvee is about 14 years. The Army’s fleet of approximately 137,000 light trucks includes 70,000 of the oldest models, which, in many cases, are unable to accept add-on armor and lack adequate power, Melcher tells an industry conference.
In the 2007-2011 budget, the Army requested nearly $4 billion for new armored Humvees. The assumption is that any new vehicle production would not start until at last 2012.
Industry sources speculate that one of the obstacles ahead for Army and Marine truck buyers may be sticker shock. In recent months, these sources say, the message conveyed to contractors is that the Army will not set a price ceiling on proposed new trucks. Military officials also continually refer to trucks as “combat vehicles,” which implies that trucks may have moved up to a higher price bracket. Current trucks generally cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000.
“In Iraq we are finding that our logistics vehicles are as important or more important than combat systems,” says Lt. Gen. William E. Mortensen, deputy chief of the Army Materiel Command, who spoke with National Defense at the Association of the U.S. Army symposium, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
That does not mean that trucks should cost a million dollars, he cautions. “The complexity needs to be managed,” says Mortensen. The Army will have to prioritize its wish list, but technologies such as tracking devices will not be skimped on, he says. “Money is well spent to ensure we know where every vehicle is.”
Contractors, for their part, worry that if trucks end up being too expensive, production will end as soon as the military services begin withdrawing from Iraq. “We have short minds in the Army,” says one industry expert. “When we start getting out of Iraq in three to four years, the mindset will shift.” He recalls that, after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, one of the Army’s “lessons learned” reports recommended that the Army buy armored Humvees. But those lessons were filed away, and only a handful of armored Humvees were built in the late 1990s. When the Army realized in 2003 that it needed armored Humvees to fight the insurgency in Iraq, it had less than 200 vehicles on hand, but needed 11,000.
is that a casket trailer, with a flatbed?
I think it's useless to upgrade somthing
that is still doing it's role well.
What a friggin crock.
Why make do with something that works when you have access to a neverending supply of money?
Nothing wrong with looking to the future. Time marches on and so does development. The Humvee is a great platform but is bascially 1980's tech. The jeep was a great platform and I'm sure there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the new fangled hummvee came along to replace a classic like that. Looks like we struck gold twice. Nothing wrong with going to a new design that is possibly more modular. Let's give it a chance before we pronounce it wasteful or a pos. The picture looks an awful lot like the current humvee....imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Does it work?
And since you have to buy new individual vehicles every few years anyway since they wear out (VERY fast with all the armor being hung on them in Iraq) why not upgrade?
The Humvees powerplant and transmission SUCKS. It is horably obsolete compared to what you can buy on the street today, even though the suspension is still top-noch, its awfully underpowered and a gas hog.
It would be nice to have a modern direct injection turbodiesel and a modern five or six speed automatic transmission.
Also, was it ever right to have the HUMVEE be the sole replacement for such a wide range of vheicles? We replaced the M274 Mule with it only to wind up now having to adopt John Deer Gators and Polaris Rangers "off the shelf" again to do the same role.
The USMC is already developing their own scout vehicle because the HUMVEE doesnt fit even in a Stallion much less a Osprey. And in the interm are using Gelandwagons in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Rangers have been using Land Rover 110s just like their friends in the SAS, because they fit in a Chinook without slinging.
What I would question is whether the "one vheicle fits all" idea should be repeated.
And then if you just want a light truck than perhaps a M998 with a new driveline could fit in that.
The HUMVEE is DEAD - per a USMC general speaking at a function for marines.
I wonder if it has anything to do with V-22 Osprey internal carriage?
Just some ideas to justify a replacment;
more room, lighter armor, IED proof (or at least more resistance) faster, able to do 75mph (quickly), mutiple platforms that are tailored to the job and not just scabed on.
The frames in Iraq are going to be shot by the time they get back from there and are going to need replacement anyway.
Humvees are 20+ year old technology.
For what they will be paying, it should have chrome wheels and spinners.
Perhaps that is a comment on the future of the M307.
The Mk 19 has taken a big hit in popularity, the 25mm AGL may be suffering spillover from that.
The .50 cal "conversion" (XM309 was it?) may not be going over well.
The real desire from the field seems to be for a lighter 12.7x99 gun, but it has to be as reliable as the M2.
The M3 is part way there and is on the shelf now... even if it is still just another variation on the same 87 year old design.
I didn't sit in on the briefing, but a coworker did. It sounds like almost an image thing, more than anything. The Humvee which performed so brilliantly in Desert Storm is now a black eye, even uparmored they are vunerable, and they are pigs....
Spinners are so yesterday - pimp led wheels are where it's at!
Desert Storm and even OIF I were PERFECT conditions for Humvees.
Afghanistan is not, and there are memories of Somalia- yes the humvees kept running shot full of holes there but trying to manuver them through those little streets was not fun...
Just another case of something that works well in Central Europe and the Desert not being adaptable to other places.
The IED issue though was dicussed here and found to be largely a non-issue. Opinions differ on the real problem- media percepton, bad tactics, or the missuse of the HUMVEE when we needed a APC- but the concensus is that the HUMVEE is not to blame and that really the uparmoring is not the answer.
So again the question is, should we be trying to replace the HUMVEE with one vheicle- remember it replaced at least SIX. Was that really practical- even though it made the accountants happy?
Back in the day.................. We had M151 jeeps. They could have a radio or 2 mounted on them and a machine gun. They were simple vehicles, inexpensive even, to get soldiers from here to there.
Then HMMV's came in. They were easily 4 times more expensive. No faster than a jeep, and used for the same basic tasks a jeep was used for. Then the decided to uparmor and improve them. They probably cost 10X what a jeep did.
Now they want to replace the HMMV with something even more expensive?
The basic wheeled vehicle may as well be a Stryker.
Negative on that. Rangers and SEALS have switched over to "customized hummvees', known as Ground Mobility Vehicle. Lanrovers were pretty problematic apparently.
Oh ho. Did not know that. So they went to using the production version of SF Groups "Warpig" configuration. How long ago was the change?
Also what do they use when they have to go by Chinook? The Rover would fit-what now? Just the ATVs?
I do think they are rather happy (or as happy as they can get about something military) with the Shadow.
They hybrid may not be the ideal solution for the civilian market- but it definently seems to have advantages for the military user.
I think you're getting some terms messed up. The "warpig" is actually a resupply vehcile for the custom humvees. The GMV is just a humvee with the stronger frame to pack on more load carrying ability.
another related link
What about the heliborn issue?
Or just piss the EnviroMENTALS off and go for the UNIMOG frame DINGO2:
Looks like Germany have ordered 450 of them..
Nice, but can they do double duty as portable electric plants?
I don't believe it can be carried internally but slingloaded is no problem.
It may only be me, but it looks like the Pinzgauer looks a lot like the vehicle from stripes..
It is a problem. The MH-47 cannot manuver to avoid fire while sling loading. Its range is also greatly reduced AND it has altitude problems. This has been a issue in Afganistan.
I guess certain elements of .mil feel like a smaller vehicle to fit inside a helicopter may not be the best way to go. When you look at it, a big platform will be needed because of the vast amount of stuff our troops have to carry ontop of being able to amor the vehicle, vehicle-borne weapons and ammo and whatever upgrades may happen in the future. No matter what happens in the future troops will still be carrying vast amounts of stuff. Let's go even further and say troops end up with exo-skeletons or power armor ala' Starship Troopers. A vehicle will still have to get them close to the battlefield and that kind of gear will be heavier than a soldier and his armor and gear now. Looking at it further if such techno-junk comes to fruition you can bet that weapons will be bigger and heavier as well. So sure a humvee size works against it in a Somalia scenario, but the number one job is to carry people and stuff and a small vehicle like a jeep is just not going to cut it. We should be looking at/designing helicopters/titlrotors/aircraft than can carry bigger platforms....but I guess it's more cost effective to design a new vehicle than a airplane. People were screaming bloody murder that humvees weren't armored, so you can bet that future vehicles will have to carry more armor, again equaling a bigger patform. All that said USMC's Force Recon is happy with the IFAV which IIRC is internally transportable by helicopter. Just alot of speculation on my part. YMMV.
Marines Eye Replacement for Humvee
from Marine Corps News Service
Nov 4 2005
by Cpl. Jonathan Agg
The Marine Corps is searching for a larger, more capable combat transport to replace the Humvee.
The Fires and Maneuver Integration Division of Marine Corps Combat Development Command is outlining the requirements for its future vehicle, dubbed the Combat Tactical Vehicle, with the goal of fielding the first CTVs in 2011.
Kevin M. McConnell, deputy director of the Fires and Maneuver Integration Division, said the Humvee, while a battle-proven tactical vehicle, is beginning to show its limitations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The Humvee A2 is a great vehicle, [but]it has outlived its usefulness,” said McConnell. “We have added very capable armor to the Humvees in Iraq. But for every pound of armor you add, that’s a pound less capable the vehicle is.
We have done a lot of modifications to the vehicle, and it’s at the end of its capabilities. There is just no more you can do for that vehicle.”
McConnell said among the improvements is the requirement that the CTV accommodate up to six Marines with their existence loads and three days of food, water and ammunition.
The current Humvee, including up-armored versions, normally seats four Marines or less.
“As we go into the future, we know we have to plan for a couple of things,” said McConnell. “We have to plan for increased mobility of the ground combat element, and we need to plan for (heavier) payloads. The first configuration we want to build is a people mover, not a fighting vehicle. It will take six guys with three days of supplies and be able to perform like a BMW on the Autobahn.”
McConnell said the requirements for the CTV, including its ability to transport six combat-ready Marines, supports Operational Maneuver From the Sea and Distributed Operations, as well as the Marine Corps’ capstone concept, Seabasing,.
“The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the EFV, holds 17 people, a reinforced rifle squad,” said McConnell. “Three CTVs would hold a reinforced rifle squad. It supports our Distributed Operations concept. It allows that type of unit to be tactically employed. We figured out a way to divide a reinforced squad into packages. Why didn’t we make it a 17 person vehicle?
One, it would be a big vehicle. Two, if you take out that vehicle, you take out 17 people. You split them up into more vehicles and you increase the survivability of the team itself.”
The CTV combines a laundry list of requirements, drawn in large part from the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned and the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, and responds to the needs of the modern warfighter.
“There is nothing better than a war to validate ideas,” said McConnell. “All of the requirements that we have built into this are traceable back to something that somebody, from lance corporal to colonel, who has been to Iraq or Afghanistan or both, has told me or one of the guys in the division.”
McConnell said the Marine Corps is working with the Army, Navy, Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command to identify joint requirements that could help turn the CTV into a joint endeavor.
“The requirements for (the Army’s concept) vehicle line up pretty closely with CTV,” said McConnell. “In the end, we and the Army are working very hard to make this a joint program. There are a lot of efficiencies in doing this with one vehicle, both in production and in lifecycle management.”
According to McConnell, the Marine Corps has an inventory of about 20,000 Humvees, while the Army has more than 120,000.
By December, McConnell said his team hopes to have a solid draft of an initial capabilities document to present to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council and the Marine Requirements Oversight Council, the next step in the process for the CTV.
“I intend to have a very good draft of that in December to begin socializing the vehicle and its requirements in the Marine Corps and the other services,” said McConnell. “Why we’re doing this now is because no time in the last 20 or 30 years have we had such a wealth of information coming in about what the Marine Corps’ needs to run a war. Now is the best time to make it happen.”
What about the Ultra-AP program?
I don't know, from what I have read the XM307/XM312 is still moving ahead. It's weight for both units is pretty low and the air bursting munitions will give our troops a big advantage. Time of flight for the 25mm is way faster than the 40mm( I believe it's mentioned you can hit a target with 3 25mm's by the time 1 40mm arrives) and the range for the 25mm is 2000 meters vs 400 for the 40mm. The dual warhead feature for the 25mm is interesting as well as the double feed/ammo selection capability. Small Arms Review did a piece a few months back on the 307/312 and was pretty favorable.
Good info link
Very good post.
Army Demo Reviews Vehicles That May Provide Soldiers Better Protection
Austrailian Bushmaster built by Oshkosh
While the Army continues to spend millions of dollars to reinforce the armor on its humvees and wheeled vehicles seeing action in Iraq, officials from several Army organizations recently reviewed 13 off-the-shelf vehicles that could possibly provide soldiers better protection from roadside bombs and land mines.
The vehicles, and two armored gun boxes, were assessed during a vehicle and technology demonstration held from Feb. 24 to March 6 at Ft. Knox, KY. The event was held to support the Army’s Comprehensive Force Protection Initiative, which is working to identify gaps and prescribe changes to protect soldiers and convoys from threats such as improvised explosive devices.
Maj. Gen. Robert Williams, Fort Knox Commanding General, told Inside the Army March 6 that the demonstration was to showcase platform capabilities that could be available today if the Army decided it wanted to improve some of its capabilities.
“Upfront, this demonstration clearly will allow decision makers to view what capabilities are available today, [in] off-the-shelf technology, from a whole host of vendors that could be used [in] what I call near to midterm operations on the Global War on Terror,” he said.
Assessments from the event, as well as other evaluations from the force protection study, will be briefed to Gen. William Wallace, commander of the Training and Doctrine Command, sometime early this week, Williams said.
The 13 vehicles shown at the demonstration were evaluated for four potential requirements: reconnaissance and surveillance; convoy security; improvised explosive devices, mine detection and neutralization; and, infantry carriers. The systems also were evaluated for survivability, lethality and mobility.
To judge mobility, the vehicles completed an off-road course “which really would put any vehicle to task like we would with any system that we might consider looking at for future procurement,” Williams said.
The vehicles also went through an urban warfighting scenario which had several IEDs in place. The vehicles had to combat “typical” urban problems, such as automobiles, a vertical wall and heavy fence lines, the two-star said.
“They were trying to negotiate some of the obstacles that you would find in a urban setting with a thinking and tough enemy,” he said. “They’d go over the obstacle and unfortunately the obstacle would break the vehicle, to be quite candid.”
For lethality, the demonstration had a live-fire event to determine each vehicle’s ability to engage targets at various ranges. Williams said one of the things the Army officials were interested in determining was the visibility out of these vehicles. “In an urban setting, it’s important soldiers [are] able to see,” he said.
Survivability data was primarily taken from the individual vendor and no live-fire testing on the vehicle was conducted, Williams said. “Whether or not we go forward and look at these vehicles to confirm or deny the vendor data on what any given vehicle could survive against is yet to be determined,” he continued.
Vehicles first started out with a “static demonstration” where data was taken from the vendors, and measurements, such as stopping distance at different speeds to how short a turning radius the vehicles have, were conducted, Williams said.
“As an example, it’s important in an urban setting that a vehicle be able to turn around in a fairly easy manner on a two-lane road,” the two-star said.
The next phase of the demonstration involved “safety certification of the vehicles,” Williams said. “I had safety experts here and at the appropriate time, I signed off on safety certification of the vehicles and then we trained soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division to operate them.”
Along with the 13 vehicles, two armored gun boxes were also looked at. Gun boxes are located in the back of a truck and provide armor protection to soldiers manning machine guns, he said.
A sources sought notice, posted Dec. 22, 2005, on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site, stated that the Army needs three types of vehicles, an 11-person Infantry Carrier, a six-person Reconnaissance, Surveillance Target Acquisition vehicle and a convoy protection-IED defeat vehicle.
Williams said there is no breakdown of which of the 13 vehicles belonged in what category because some vehicles can fit in more than one category.
The two-star also stressed that the demonstration is not part of an acquisition plan. The goal of the event was to examine various platforms and gather data. “Whether or not the Army decides there’s a requirement here is not determined at this point,” he said. “And whether or not this goes into an acquisition process has not been determined.”
The following companies and their particular systems participated in the demonstration:
*BAE Systems: Medium Combat Vehicle, RG-32 light armored vehicle, Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles;
*Force Protection Inc.: Cougar medium mine-protected vehicle, Buffalo mine resistant vehicle;
*General Dynamics Land Systems: RG-31 mine protected vehicle;
*General Purpose Vehicles: Commander;
*International: A large, humvee-like vehicle called the Oryx;
*LENCO: Bearcat armored trucks;
*Lawrence Livermore National Labs: Livermore Labs Gun Box;
*Oshkosh Truck Corp.: Bushmaster armored vehicle;
*Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc.: Multipurpose Troop Transport Carrier System Box;
*Textron Marine Land System: Armored Security Vehicle Infantry Combat Vehicle (ASV ICV), ASV Guardian; and
*Windhoeker Maschinenfabrikl: Wer’Wolf vehicle.
-- Libby John