WASHINGTON — The Army is slated to select early next year multiple vendors to build prototypes for its Common Tactical Truck competition.
The service received “multiple” bids to compete, Brig. Gen. Luke Peterson, the Army’s program executive officer in charge of combat support and combat service support, told Defense News in a recent interview.
“We are on track for a January award, and it’ll be more than one company,” he said, “as a part of that prototyping effort to really allow the Army to evaluate current commercial technology in a military-type application, modified off-the-shelf for military purposes.”
The Army hopes the new trucks, set to replace its Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles, will address a reliability issue, as the service is struggling to sustain its legacy trucks, Peterson said.
“We are going to really learn what industry can offer us and affordability is going to be the key driver here for the Army to make those informed decisions,” Peterson added.
The service in late June released a request for proposals to build prototypes. The prototyping phase is meant to help the Army define requirements.
Following the prototyping phase, the Army plans to again open the competition, allowing vendors to submit bids for the engineering and manufacturing development phase. The service expects to enter EMD in the fiscal 2024 time frame and is targeting the end of FY26 to enter the production phase with a single winner.
Initial production could total about 5,700 vehicles valued at around $5 billion.
At the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference earlier this month, hulking tactical trucks were hard to miss on the exhibition floor.
American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense, who earlier this summer agreed to partner in the CTT competition, displayed Rheinmetall’s MAN Military Vehicles HX tactical military truck at GM Defense’s two-story booth. The truck was hauling one of the Infantry Squad Vehicles GM Defense is building for the U.S. Army.
“The Army customer says they want modern, advanced technology based on commercial investments made so that we can deliver the best capability to the warfighter as quickly as possible,” GM Defense President Steve duMont told Defense News in August. “That’s what this team is preparing to do.”
Mack Defense brought to the conference its M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck, based on the commercially available Mack Granite model. In 2018, the Army awarded Mack Defense a $296 million contract to provide over seven years dump trucks to replace decades-old Army trucks. Mack began building those vehicles in 2021 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Just ahead of AUSA, Dave Hartzell, the company’s chief executive, told Defense News it had submitted a bid for the prototyping phase of the CTT program.
The company is taking its base design and technology from the Granite family of vehicles, and militarizing it.
“We made some performance enhancements to it to meet the Army’s requirements for off-road capability, or mobility requirements, and then they have a force protection requirement, there’s an armoring requirement, so obviously, we had to design that to provide that capability as well,” Hartzell said.
Roughly 80% of the parts are shared with Mack’s commercial vehicle platforms. The Army wants “a commercial base vehicle platform that can still meet the mission roles that are required for the military application, but with a degree of commonality with commercial industry as much to the extent possible,” he said.
AM General also announced at AUSA it submitted a bid to compete for the CTT. AM General is teaming with Italian Company IDV Iveco Defense Vehicles, which previously partnered with BAE Systems to supply the U.S. Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle.
AM General has long supplied Humvees to the U.S. Army and is planning to compete again for a chance to build the service’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle after losing to Oshkosh Defense in 2015. The Army is recompeting the contract and plans to select a winner early next year.
“The team’s High Mobility Range Vehicle architecture for CTT will be based on a newly launched highly modular range of trucks, specifically designed for military use,” according to AM General’s statement.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.