WASHINGTON — Mack Defense, Navistar Defense, Oshkosh Defense, and a team made up of American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense will build prototypes for a Common Tactical Truck after the U.S. Army awarded them deals worth a cumulative $24.3 million.
Each team will build three prototypes of each CTT variant — an M915 line haul tractor; an M1088 medium tractor; a palletized load system; and a heavy expanded mobility tactical truck. Vendors will also provide digital designs to go with each variant and a design study for a wrecker, according to the Army.
The prototyping effort is meant to “allow the Army to evaluate current commercial technology in a military-type application, modified off the shelf for military purposes,” Brig. Gen. Luke Peterson, the Army’s program executive officer in charge of combat support and combat service support, told Defense News last fall.
“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,” he added.
In the Army’s award announcement Friday, Peterson said the “CTT effort brings an increased level of standardization to the Army’s Tactical Truck fleet.”
“This effort is reminiscent of the original Liberty Truck, a heavy-duty truck produced by the United States Army during World War I,” he explained. “It was the first official standardized motor vehicle adopted and produced by the U.S. military.
“The CTT program can be viewed as the Liberty Truck of the 21st century, as it will similarly seek to streamline the Army’s supply, maintenance, and training requirements.”
The service in June 2022 released a request for proposals to build prototypes.
The Army will begin evaluating the initial prototypes at the start of 2024, according to Friday’s statement. The evaluation results will feed a capabilities development document that will be submitted to the Army Requirements Oversight Council. The council is to make a decision in fiscal 2026 on whether to move forward.
If the Army greenlights the requirements, the plan is to then again open the competition, allowing vendors to submit bids for the engineering and manufacturing development phase, the statement added.
Initial production could total about 5,700 vehicles valued at about $5 billion.
American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense partnered over the summer of 2022 to compete to build a prototype for the Army. They showcased a Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles HX tactical military truck at GM Defense’s booth at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual exhibition in Washington last fall. The truck was hauling one of the Infantry Squad Vehicles that GM Defense is building for the Army.
Mack Defense’s chief executive, Dave Hartzell, told Defense News last year it was basing its prototype design and technology on its Granite family of vehicles — and militarizing it.
As for Navistar Defense, CEO Ted Wright said in a statement that the company is able to balance the Army’s “force protection, survivability, and mission readiness requirements while leveraging the commercial industry’s rapidly advancing technological capabilities.”
“Our superior platforms are scalable to meet the vast majority of the Army’s Tactical Wheeled Vehicles vehicle applications and mission roles for their medium and heavy fleets,” the executive added.
Oshkosh said it would take its “battle-tested” family of heavy tactical vehicles, or FHTV, it already provides to the Army and apply it to the development of CTT prototypes, “ultimately providing a modernized version of the already capable FHTV. The FHTV’s flexible architecture allows it to support a multitude of missions with the ability to scale up or down with minimal change to the vehicle.”
AM General, which did not receive a contract to build prototypes, announced its bid at the AUSA conference. The company teamed with Italian business Iveco Defence Vehicles, which is partnered with BAE Systems to supply the U.S. Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle.
“The team’s High Mobility Range Vehicle architecture for [the Common Tactical Truck] will be based on a newly launched highly modular range of trucks, specifically designed for military use,” according to AM General’s statement at the time.
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.