HMMWV
Pictured in this file photo is a M1151A1 High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle, or Humvee.

The U.S. Army is extending its Request for Information, or RFI, to industry as part of an effort to recapitalize its fleet of up-armored Humvees, improving survivability, mobility and payload capacity for the vehicles, service officials said.

Citing a strong industry response along with the need to collect and analyze more information as part of a move toward finding the best technologies, Army officials said they are encouraged by the possibilities being presented by industry.

The RFI and assessment of the results are part of a planned move toward competitive prototyping to achieve greater Soldier survivability through the Humvee reset program.

"We have received a strong response to the RFI that went out in January; there is a great deal of industry interest in improving this vehicle. There have been a number of companies that have looked at ways of improving the underbody protection of the HMMWV -- both through adding V-hulls and through other advanced designs. That speaks to why we want to do this competitively. We want to pull in the best designs from industry so we can provide the Army leadership with a solid recommendation to sustain this Army asset," said Col. David Bassett, project manager for tactical vehicles.

The RFI - which was slated to end in March has been extended as part of a plan to move toward a formal Request for Proposal and contract awards later this year. Pending successful completion of the RFI phase, multiple contractors could be chosen as part of a competitive prototyping effort, Bassett said. Contracts will be in two phases of contracts, with phase one to be awarded later this year.

Testing will emphasize survivability. The challenge will be to improve survivability and preserve mobility and payload while keeping costs down. "Live fire testing will be a key element in the evaluations. We're looking at ways to improve protection, mobility and payload" said Bassett.

The Army is aiming at maximizing cost effectiveness to sustain existing Humvee. The Army plans to maintain a fleet of HMMWVs into the future even while aggressively pursuing the JLTV [Joint Light Tactical Vehicle], according to Bassett.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16