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Logistics Vehicle System Replacement

USMC PEO Land Systems Programs 2011-2012

The Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) is a new Marine Corps heavy payload truck. The 10-wheel tactical vehicle offers greater mobility and off-road payload capability than the existing Logistics Vehicle System (LVS), which the Corps initially fielded in the mid-1980s. The LVSR also offers reduced life-cycle costs. Both vehicles can carry 22.5 tons on the highway, but the more powerful LVSR can transport 16.5 tons off road, compared with 12.5 tons for the LVS.

The LVSR can travel up to 65 miles per hour on paved surfaces and has a cruising range of 300 miles. It can ford 5 feet of water. Built by Oshkosh Corporation, the new tactical-distribution heavy hauler carries fuel, water, ammunition, standardized containers, palletized cargo, and heavy equipment. The earlier-vintage LVS, also built by Oshkosh, is a two-piece truck-trailer, with a four-wheel-drive front power unit and five categories of trailer rear-body units. In contrast, the all-wheel-drive LVSR has a straight body design in three different variants – cargo, wrecker, and tractor. The wrecker performs heavy wrecker/recovery missions. The tractor variant will tow heavy engineer equipment and combat vehicles with the 40-ton Medium-Heavy Equipment Trailer.

The LVSR’s in-cab vehicle electronic diagnostics system lets the driver monitor the engine, transmission, brakes, central tire inflation system, and other critical components. The vehicle’s simplified maintenance features a single-source lubrication system, which houses the engine oil, transfer case, hydraulics, and transmission in the same reservoir.

“The LVSR will help address one of the biggest challenges we face in Afghanistan – getting supplies, fuel, water, and heavy equipment into areas where our Marines have to go,” said Marine Corps’ Program Executive Officer for Land Systems Bill Taylor. “This vehicle is disproportionately mobile compared to its size,” he added.

“The LVSR is doing great things for our Marines in theater due to its ability to go off road and maneuver in harsh conditions,” said Maj. Gen. (Select) Charles L. Hudson, commanding general, 1st Marine Logistics Group, while speaking at the MCSC/PEO LS Acquisition Excellence Day, in Woodbridge, Va., in June 2011.

The LVSR, with a standard two-person cab (and a third space for an optional machine gunner position), uses Oshkosh’s TAK-4® independent suspension system for improved mobility and off-road maneuverability. The suspension system allows each wheel to move up and down separately in response to uneven surfaces, reducing the stress on the axle and keeping the vehicle more level on rough terrain. The LVSR appears to move like a giant caterpillar.

 Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR)

A Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) deployed with 8th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB), 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), traverses the desert of Marjah district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 11, 2011. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sergeant Brandon M. Owen

Thanks to Oshkosh’s mechanical rear-steer technology, in which the rear wheels actually steer separately, the LVSR makes a complete 360-degree turn in only about 84 feet. This tight turning radius facilitates vehicle storage aboard ship. The LVSR has a 600-horsepower Caterpillar diesel engine and an Allison 7-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle is 35.5 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 12 feet high. It has a “cab-over” design in which the cab hangs out over the front wheels fairly low to the ground.

The vehicle features factory-installed, integral underbody armor for cab floor mine-blast protection. To counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the Marine Corps has fitted the LVSR’s cab with a removable, add-on armor package developed by the original equipment manager, Oshkosh Corporation, and Israel’s Plasan Sasa. Unlike previous tactical trucks with armor added after the fact due to the threats in Iraq and Afghanistan, the LVSR was designed and built to accommodate the weight of its armor package without degrading vehicle performance.

“The LVSR will help address one of the biggest challenges we face in Afghanistan – getting supplies, fuel, water, and heavy equipment into areas where our Marines have to go,” said Marine Corps’ Program Executive Officer for Land Systems Bill Taylor. “This vehicle is disproportionately mobile compared to its size,” he added.

Fielding of the LVSR cargo variant began in early summer 2009; the vehicle achieved an initial operational capability in September of that year. The program received approval for full-rate production for the cargo variant in December 2009.

As of June 2011, 1,091 (1,037 cargo, 27 wrecker low-rate initial production (LRIP), and 27 tractor LRIP) LVSRs had been delivered to the Marine Corps, said Tom Miller, MTVR/LVSR program manager, and 184 were in Afghanistan. After delivery, the vehicles are fitted with additional warfighting equipment (i.e., IED “jammers,” tactical radios, and other electronics) before being shipped overseas.

The LVSR wrecker and tractor variants began initial operational test and evaluation in September 2010. Full-rate production for both vehicles was approved in April 2011.

The wrecker variant is able to recover heavy Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, which have given the 7-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) wrecker some difficulty, Miller noted.

Logistics System Vehicle Replacement (LSVR)

Marines from Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), work to load the wings of a downed French F2000 Mirage aircraft aboard a Logistics Vehicle System Replacement May 27, 2011. U.S., French and Italian forces conducted an 81-mile combat logistics patrol from Regional Command Southwest to retrieve the French jet without incident in the Bakwa district of Regional Command West in Afghanistan. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Theresa E. Seng

He stated further that initial delivery of LVSR wreckers to Afghanistan was expedited based on requests from theater commanders, with the first two vehicles arriving in theater in April 2011.

The Marine Corps’ LVSR Approved Acquisition Objective (AAO) is 2,000. To date, 1,713 vehicles are on contract – 1,318 cargo variants, 123 wreckers, and 272 tractors, Miller said.Miller said that the Marine Corps began deploying the first four LVSR cargo vehicles to Afghanistan in September 2009 in support of urgent fielding of the Mobile Trauma Bay. The latter is a fully enclosed and armored surgical unit with three operating stations in modular pieces that are mounted on the back of an LVSR. The Mobile Trauma Bay allows a five-person shock trauma platoon to treat severely wounded Marines earlier at forward casualty-collection points instead of making them wait for a medevac helicopter or ground vehicle.

The LVSR’s in-cab vehicle electronic diagnostics system lets the driver monitor the engine, transmission, brakes, central tire inflation system, and other critical components. The vehicle’s simplified maintenance features a single-source lubrication system, which houses the engine oil, transfer case, hydraulics, and transmission in the same reservoir.

The LVSR will be employed throughout the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) in the Marine Logistics Group, Marine Division, and Marine Aircraft Wing. Deployment of new LVSRs will reduce the cargo-hauling burden of the Marine Corps’ MTVR convoys, Miller said.

The LVSR and the MTVR, also built by Oshkosh, form a formidable logistical tandem. They also share common parts and similar maintenance, which streamlines service and support while reducing downtime.

This article first appeared in Marine Corps Outlook: 2011-2012 Edition.

 

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Glenn Goodman, senior editor of the Journal of Electronic Defense, is also a frequent contributor...