By U.S. ArmyJuly 2, 2014
The Ultra Light Vehicle (ULV) Research Prototype represents a basic technology development and integration effort exploring new, "out-of-the-box" technologies and yielding a survivability-focused demonstration vehicle. The project's intent is to support the research and development of lighter weight armor solutions and novel blast mitigating technologies that may help shape, inform, or support future modernization and development efforts.
In this effort, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center's (TARDEC) Ground System Survivability (GSS) group partnered with nontraditional defense contractors, leveraging each entity's unique qualities to seek the "art of the possible" balanced against weight, survivability, cost, and performance objectives. Seeking a common platform on which to test the effectiveness and potential integration of both commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and newly developed technologies at varying levels of readiness, the program moved from design to prototype in just 16 months.
Funded by the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD), the program's specific goal was to design, develop, and build three identical tactical wheeled concept vehicles emphasizing occupant survivability and striving to meet four overarching primary research objectives:
Payload -- 4,500 lbs
Performance -- 14,000 lbs CVW
Protection -- Comparable to MRAP Family of Vehicles
Price -- $250,000 each in 5,000 unit production run
Upon completion of limited testing, the ULV effort will generate data to enhance the safety, capability, and affordability of future programs of record.
The entire program resides at TARDEC at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI. TARDEC directly reports to the U.S. Army Material Command's (AMC) Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM).