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GM Defense Competes to Modernize Military Trucks to Better Protect Soldiers

GM Defense and another contractor teamed up to upgrade the trucks with autonomous driving technology, advanced driver assistance systems and off-roading technology.

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GM Defense and another company called American Rheinmetall have a new contract to help modernize the U.S. Army’s trucks. The Army is looking to upgrade its heavy tactical trucks with vehicles that are lighter, more maneuverable and loaded with the latest driver assist and autonomous technologies. GM Defense is a key defense contractor because it already has the latest technologies and is working on ways to incorporate it into military vehicles.

Replacing the U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck

The Army chose four different manufacturers to draw up plans for three different versions of the Army’s Common Tactical Truck. The Army wants to replace the current version with up to 40,000 modern trucks valued at up to $14 billion. Final decisions on designs probably won't be made until 2026.

The Army’s goal is to commission a “truck that enhances Soldier capability through advanced technologies including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) for safety, increased off-road mobility, cybersecurity, machine learning, artificial intelligence, improved survivability and fuel efficiency, among other emerging technologies.”

GM Defense and Rheinmetall Concentrating on a Truck with a Proven Track Record

GM Defense and Rheinmetall are focusing their current efforts on a truck called the HX3 Common Tactical Truck (HX3-CTT). The HX3 is the latest generation of trucks in the highly successful, combat proven, HX family of trucks which are in service with a number of NATO and U.S. allied nations. The HX family of trucks is built off the MAN Truck and Bus commercial truck platform. That means that it is composed of mostly commercial parts which is a huge plus. It means that replacement parts can be easily found and installed around the world, so that trucks can be more easily serviced. Too many of the Army’s current trucks require parts that have to be specially fabricated, which delays and complicates repairs, especially in foreign countries.

The HX3-CTT next-generation system has enhanced on and off- road mobility. It also uses an open digital architecture which can be adapted for Advanced Driver Assist programs and can be enabled for autonomous vehicle operation. The HX3 is already set up to be easily upgraded as technologies improve. The HX3 is already used by the military globally and already has established commercial dealer networks to supply parts and even provide service. That should, in theory, mean that the HX3-CTT would be cheaper and more effective for the Army to use around the world.

“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,” said Steve duMont, president of GM Defense. “We are excited to bring our advanced technologies and manufacturing prowess into this important collaboration and deliver a proven, modern solution to enhance warfighter capability. We look forward to continuing our work with American Rheinmetall Vehicles to execute the first prototype phase, while gaining the necessary insights to strengthen our position to win future phases of the program.”

“Both American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense look forward to providing competition to the Army’s CTT Program. We are committed partners to the Army, bringing tremendous operational capability coupled with advanced safety features, ensuring our Soldiers can achieve their mission safely and effectively. Together our team will deliver a transformational truck that leverages the commercial strengths of our partners, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles and General Motors, and the commonality of the HX3-CTT design,” said Matthew Warnick, Managing Director for American Rheinmetall Vehicles.

GM Defense is already working on a military troop carrier that is built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Pickup, as well as a military supertruck that looks much like a Chevrolet Suburban but is built on the Silverado truck platform and heavily fortified.

GM Defense Photo

Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.

Follow Mary Conway at @maryconwaymedia and send her car news tips for future stories.

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