General Motors JV to Develop New DoD Vehicle

With a partner, GM’s bid for a potential $14-billion project for new U.S. Army tactical trucks foresees an updated version of the HX3, based on a commercial platform for flexibility, plus advance technology, safety, and survivability.

A General Motors joint venture has won a U.S. Dept. of Defense contract to develop the first phase of the U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck Program – a multi-phase effort to replace the current series of heavy tactical trucks. The final design could lead to production of up to 40,000 trucks, with a value of up to $14 billon, according to GM.

The assignment to GM Defense and American Rheinmetall Vehicles is one of four issued by DoD (including others to Mack Defense, Navistar Defense, and Oshkosh Defense) totaling $24.25 million. Each of the contractors will provide three prototype variants for the Common Tactical Truck, or CTT, vehicles – a M915 line haul tractor and M1088 medium tractor, a palletized load system (PLS) and heavy expanded mobility tactical truck (HEMTT.)

The Army stipulates the new CTT vehicles must demonstrate best commercial practices, lower procurement cost, and technology. Design priorities include: “drive by wire” capability and active safety; mission roles; commonality; digitization- and autonomy-ready; energy; force protection; and survivability.

GM formed the joint venture of GM Defense and American Rheinmetall Vehicles last year in order to compete for the contract.

“Winning the CTT prototype phase demonstrates the undeniable value that the strategic collaboration between GM Defense and American Rheinmetall Vehicles brings to this important, next-generation Army program,” stated Steve duMont, president of GM Defense.

Military tactical trucks are armored versions of heavy-duty commercial vehicles, typically used as cargo carriers, load handling systems, tankers, or line haul tractors. The proposed HX3 Common Tactical Truck (HX3-CTT). is a new variant of a military-off-the-shelf tactical truck design already in use with NATO and other U.S. allied nations’ defense forces. Current HX family trucks can scale from 4×4 to 10×10, according to GM’s announcement.

The HX series trucks have been offered by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles since 2003.

HX trucks are derived from MAN Truck and Bus commercial truck offerings, which addresses the U.S. Army’s “commerciality” objective for the CTT program. GM stated that having an open digital architecture as well as a commercial platform for the new military trucks will support ongoing modernization and allow for quick improvements in capability as technologies mature. “With a global footprint of both current military user nations and commercial dealer networks, the HX3-CTT provides a basis for optimized lifecycle costs and service support to the Army across the globe,” according to GM.