It’s one thing to claim that your new combat vehicle design can do it all. At some point in time you’re going to have to prove it. And that point seems to be approaching for the Ultra Light Combat Vehicle (ULCV).
In the months following the Army’s recent “sources sought” request for information on potential ULCV platforms, service planners have been analyzing the information submitted and preparing an opportunity for the industry to put its vehicle where its mouth has been.
That planning effort is reflected in the newly released announcement of a “Platform Performance Demonstration” (ULCV-PPD) to observe the actual vehicle performance previously claimed by vendors who had submitted white paper responses.
The operational PPD, which is currently planned to take place at Ft. Bragg, NC between 9 and 13 June, will demonstrate the actual ability of a U.S. Army infantry squad to utilize the ULCV platforms that have been proposed by vendors. The program has not reached an acquisition phase and all vendor PPD activities and materials will be provided at no cost to the government.
Participation in the PPD requires vendors to procure a limited safety release and provide operator instructions and training to government-designated drivers.
The actual PPD will demonstrate a range of what have been identified as “threshold” requirements for the ULCV. They include the following:
- Carrying an infantry squad (9 Soldiers) and equipment (3200 lbs. total)
- A platform curb weight not exceeding 4500 lbs. – less squad and equipment - (fueled, oiled, and ready to run 250 miles)
- Ability to be driven into and out of a CH-47 helicopter with the squad and their equipment onboard
- Ability to operate in a wide range of terrain profiles
- Ability to survive rollover at gross vehicle weight (demonstrate via calculations or validation certificate)
- Capability of being rigged and/or de-rigged by no more than two soldiers for sling-load operations within two minutes using only on-board tools and a 10K sling
Minor differences between the identified PPD threshold requirements and the general requirements identified in the earlier release include the newly identified maximum curb weight of 4500 lbs., operational range of 250 miles (versus previous 250-300 miles), and greater specifics on sling-load operations.