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Army/Marine Corps Effort Explores Increased Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

The Enterprise Market Investigation Process (EMIP)

Army and Marine Corps representatives are working together to explore potential vehicle fuel efficiency upgrades under a program dubbed the Enterprise Market Investigation Process (EMIP).

The current iteration of EMIP is an outgrowth of an earlier U.S. Army program that employed the same acronym to represent Expedited Modernization Initiative Process. That earlier EMIP, which itself grew out of the Army’s “Truck Technology Rodeo” annual events of the 2005 timeframe, was a periodic activity that sought to improve the current and future tactical wheeled vehicle fleet by leveraging industry investments in advanced vehicle technologies. Using a standardized process to collect market research on technologies available that could be applied to the Army’s tactical wheeled vehicle fleet, EMIP was viewed by service representatives as one way to facilitate insertion of advanced technologies as quickly as possible into existing vehicle fleets.

The process began with a request for information/sources sought announcement. Industry representatives with applicable technologies could respond by submitting an “application idea form” [short white paper describing the concept or technology], with a selected number of respondents subsequently invited to demonstrate their technologies in a military field setting.

Government descriptions caution that “EMIP is not an acquisition process,” but add that it “does provide an opportunity for vendors to identify to government subject matter experts industry’s investments in advanced component technologies that could be referred by the EMIP team to relevant government acquisition, requirements, or research and development organizations for potential follow-up.”

The recent name change behind the EMIP acronym reflects in part the expansion of the event beyond ground systems managed by the Army’s Program Executive Office Combat Support & Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS) to also include those managed by the Army’s PEO Ground Combat Systems (GCS), the United States Marine Corps’ PEO Land Systems (LS), and the USMC’s Program Manager Light Armored Vehicles (PM LAV).

Service sources note that the new representation is “more closely matching technologies demonstrated to potential military utility,” pointing to thirty-one technology ideas successfully demonstrated in 2010 and ten technology ideas demonstrated in April 2011.

Looking toward the near future, the EMIP has identified “specific areas of interest” for the next round of EMIP demonstrations as including “technologies to increase vehicle fuel efficiency. These can include, for example, improvements in the areas of engine efficiency such as brake specific fuel consumption, aerodynamics, drive train losses, rolling resistance, torque multiplication, accessory losses, driver compensation, etc. Additional benefits could be reduction in vehicle maintenance or logistic support requirements, decrease in vehicle cost, and improved performance.”

Interested industry respondents have until early September to submit their idea forms with proposed technologies.

Announcements note that all technology submissions will be initially vetted using the selection criteria that assign the highest priority to fuel efficiency improvement and independent test results. Subordinate selection criteria will also include cost, vehicle integration challenge, technology weight and dimensional characteristics and technical maturity level.

Selected technologies will subsequently be demonstrated during the week of Oct. 24, 2011, at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan.

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...