Advanced Integration of Vehicle Kits for Improved Reliability and Reduced Logistics Footprint

NCMS Project #: 142016

Problem: Construction companies, farmers and loggers now have an array of flexible kits and attachments that transform standard heavy equipment into versatile machines capable of performing a variety of tasks Finding new and innovative ways to integrate, maintain, and sustain these systems due to their complex integrations, high usage, and extreme operating environment is becoming a bigger challenge.  This is mainly due to the fact that these new kitted technologies contain advanced electronics such as sensors, cameras, and complex software which may not easily integrate into a newer or older vehicle.  Vehicle models and brands have different firmware, computers, and electronics which make integration more difficult and expensive due to proprietary software and test equipment.  The more complex the parts and components, the higher the chance they can malfunction, creating long, complicated, and expensive repairs.  For the DOD, the integration of unique kits onto military heavy construction equipment and combat vehicles provides similar challenges.

Benefit: As the  need grows to easily integrate these new kits onto multiple vehicle platforms original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) may use the results of this initiative to accelerate the inclusion of modular architectures, software,  
and mechanical components so vehicles can quickly and seamlessly accept new kits without impacting the maintenance, performance, and reliability of the prime or parent vehicle.  The military can leverage the commercial sector to find integration efficiencies to install older or modified kits onto a more updated combat vehicle.  

Solution/Approach: The logistics footprint of the current survivability kit can be very large and cumbersome so a key goal will be to leverage common parts to minimize the need for new components, mounting hardware, and cables to reduce the footprint.  The objective is to provide testing, evaluations, and demonstrations of methods to integrate new technology upgrades into existing vehicles and other complex systems such as aircraft, ships, and weapons systems.  A proof of concept will be developed that will include a virtual and physical integration of power electronics, software, and mechanical components from the previously integrated M1A2 SEPv2 Trophy APS survivability kit using more advanced modeling and simulation tools, as well as innovative integration processes and testing and installation technologies.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduce investment, logistic footprint and operating costs
  • Expand equipment life span
  • Enhance safety
  • Decrease maintenance touch labor hours
  • Increase warfighter readiness and lethality

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems
  • U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command
  • U.S. Army Test Evaluation Command
  • Michigan National Guard

Industry Participation:

  • Leonardo DRS Land Systems
  • Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Israel) (observer)
  • General Dynamics Land Systems (observer)
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Maintenance management improvement
  • Improved readiness
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement