The US Army on 27 January 2023 announced the award of contracts to four industry teams to build prototypes of a new Common Tactical Truck (CTT) intended to replace the current M915 Line Haul Tractor, M1088 Medium Tractor, Palletized Load System (PLS), and Heavy Expended Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT).
Mack Defense, Navistar Defense, Oshkosh Defense and the team of American Rheinmetall and GM Defense are to each provide both digital designs and three prototypes of each variant plus a wrecker study. According to Brig Gen Luke Peterson the Program Executive Officer, CTT will “bring increased level of standardization to the Army’s Tactical Truck Fleet.” At key objective is to field a family of trucks with open modular designs and common interchangeable repair parts. The CTT will supply transport services for containerized and breakbulk cargo, ammunition, fuel, bridging equipment, and could also potentially offer a platform for missiles and artillery.
The CTT family is to be based on modified Commercial, Off-The-Shelf (COTS) technology incorporating current and emerging state-of-the-art capabilities not currently found in US Army legacy military trucks. Inherent modularity is intended to allow for future exchange or upgrade of vehicle components and systems over their service life. Maximum commonality with civilian base models is sought to provide access to market-priced components for replacement and upgrade. In addition, use of common chassis, powertrain and transmission is sought to simplify maintenance, as well as, AI vehicle health monitoring and diagnostics to enable proactive repairs. Trucks will also incorporate commercial Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) to enhance safety. CTT must also be able to include armoured replaceable cabs, MRAP level protective features, mount a common remotely operated weapon station or objective gunner’s protection kit, and able to withstand Chemical, Biological, Radiation/Nuclear decontamination.
The CTT would replace US Army heavy tactical truck designs originating in the 1980s. The US Army program follows similar acquisitions of modern tactical trucks by other western armies including the fielding of the Rheinmetall HX series by Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden and six other NATO armies; Canada’s current Logistics Vehicle Modernization Project; French Multipurpose Logistics Carrier – PPLOG using the IVECO Défense model; and Dutch DVOW -Joint Replacement Programme – Wheeled Vehicles. Each reflect efforts to lever the advances in commercial automotive technologies to military applications.
The US Army CTT prototypes evaluation is to begin in early 2024 with results supporting a 2026 decision to move forward. This would lead to a new full and open competition Request for Proposal for engineering and development contracts. The program would require US production. The current US heavy tactical truck inventory is approximately 30,000 vehicles and initial CTT production could cover around 5,700 vehicles with a value estimated at US$5 Billion.
by Stephen W. Miller