The Army is planning to replace its Family of Heavy Tactical Trucks with the Common Tactical Truck and plans to use rapid prototyping to accelerate the acquisition timeline.
The Army’s Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support is managing the competition and plans to make an award in December. A news release from the companies says the request for prototype proposals was released in late June. The Army could buy up to 5,700 vehicles for about $5 billion.
According to the release, the companies plan to offer Rheinmetall’s HX3-series truck for the first phase of the competition, and use it as a “starting point” for technology-driven collaboration. The HX3 trucks have increased power, mobility and advanced driver assistance systems compared to earlier generations of HX trucks, the release stated. The trucks are also built with an open systems architecture that the companies say will allow for future integration of of hybrid technology, leader-follower driving and autonomous operations.
“American Rheinmetall Vehicles is a committed partner to the Army, bringing next-generation capability, technology and competition to high priority Army modernization programs like CTT,” said Matthew Warnick, managing director for American Rheinmetall Vehicles, in a news release. “GM Defense shares our commitment, and together our team will provide a transformational truck to support the Army and its Soldiers.”
The partnership will pair Rheinmetall’s well-established experience in heavy ground vehicles with the commercial innovation GM Defense can access to through its parent company, General Motors. For example, General Motors announced earlier this year that it is investing $35 billion in electrification and autonomy technology.
GM Defense re-launched its defense business in 2017 after a 14-year hiatus. The company relies on its parent company’s experience in the commercial automotive sector to set itself apart from other military-focused contractors. In 2020 it won the Army’s Infantry Squad Vehicle contest. The partnership also allows GM Defense to continue to expand its footprint in the defense sector.
“On the heels of successfully delivering the ISV to our Army customer, GM Defense is excited to join American Rheinmetall Vehicles on the CTT program to deliver another exceptional mobility solution for our Soldiers,” said Steve duMont, president of GM Defense, said in a statement. “This strategic collaboration enables GM Defense to continue showcasing our advanced capabilities, leveraging GM’s innovation and proven commercial technology.”
Rheinmetall has sold its HX family of trucks to 20 countries, including Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. In June, GM Defense announced that it had launched an international entity, GM Defense International, to sell ground vehicles to foreign nations.
In the CTT competition, the Army is looking for a fleet of common trucks that use the same components, such as transmissions, chassis and power trains, to improve the service’s ability to sustain and maintain vehicles. Common components will also reduce supply chain complexities.
The common tactical trucks will replace the Army’s Palletized Load System, M915 line haul Truck Tractor and the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck.
“With American Rheinmetall Vehicles’ HX3 as the starting point, I’m confident that together we will deliver a winning solution that meets or exceeds the Army’s requirements and provides a platform for growth and technology insertion to support our warfighters well into the future,” duMont said.