The U.S. Army depends on its tactical ground vehicles to transport troops, carry munitions, contain communications equipment to act as a mobile command center, and evacuate and care for the wounded. These vehicles, such as the Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFV), are essential assets yet have been tasked with performing beyond their intended lifespans leaving them vulnerable to certain design challenges that become more pronounced over time. One design element that has been upgraded is their Towing and Tie Down (T&TD) kits.
T&TD is used by the military to recover immobile, inoperative, or battle-damaged BFV’s. Modernization of the BFV armor, weaponry, engine, and transmission has increased the gross weight of the vehicle to over 62,000 pounds rendering existing T&TDs inadequate and unsafe to use in recovery and transport operations. Components such as the ramp, rear panel, and winch cables have ripped off the vehicle during recovery operations and vibration during rail transport caused cracking of the T&TD components resulting in vehicles overturning during transport and sustaining significant and costly damage.
CLogic Defense, through a CTMA initiative, demonstrated a newly developed T&TD kit that alleviates this dangerous situation.
“The Ramp Assembly of the T&TD is very complex to manufacture due to its asymmetric shape,” says Len Mecca, Vice President of CLogic. “Special processes and controls are needed during cutting, welding, and machining to prevent warpage and distortion of the ballistic material to produce flat ramps that will seal properly to the Bradley vehicle to maintain soldier protection and safety. So not only was the challenge to get it right, but also to get it right repeatedly, yielding consistent product performance. CLogic personnel have extensive experience and understanding of the credible defect risks associated with integrating new technology into existing platforms.”
CLogic Defense has earned four Army Invention of the Year Awards for successfully fielding technology-based systems into the hands of the soldier. With over 20 years of experience working to solve DOD issues, they clearly understand how to drive down technical and cost risks associated with transitioning new military technology from prototype to production. This new T&TD is designed for Army ground vehicles, but its core technology could be adopted across the Services.
“We value working collaboratively with the government engineers to give the soldiers the best available technology so they can get their jobs done. Through the CTMA Program there is an effective mechanism to collaborate with the government and solve their most demanding technical challenges,” says Mecca.