Fanfare and ceremony accompanied the opening of this week’s Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., as an industry team led by Northrop Grumman used the AUSA gathering to unveil their candidate solution for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV) 1.1 program.
The ceremony marked the sixth company or team to acknowledge submitting a vehicle test sample as part of their GMV 1.1 proposal. Other companies that have acknowledged GMV 1.1 candidates include AM General, Navistar, Oshkosh, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS)/Flyer, and General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) [Force Protection].
The Northrop Grumman-led entry, dubbed Medium Assault Vehicle – Light (MAV-L), was developed in conjunction with team members BAE Systems and Pratt & Miller Engineering.
“Today marks a unique time for the future of ground combat vehicle technology as we unveil the [Medium] Assault Vehicle – Light (MAV-L) for the U.S. Special Forces GMV 1.1 competition,” said Tom Vice, president of Northrop Grumman Technical Services. “Our MAV-L solution is the result of first understanding the need; the technical requirements; affordability requirements; production requirements; as well as operation and support requirements. From there we started with a clean sheet approach and designed, produced, and rigorously tested our solution … I think you will see that this solution meets all the requirements: mission, tactical, affordability, production, demand in terms of schedule, and of course all the operation support requirements.”
“In teaming with BAE [Systems] and Pratt & Miller, this team combines the most innovative companies from defense and the commercial racing industries to create this purpose-designed vehicle that meets the warfighters’ needs, both in effectiveness and new capabilities. And in partnering with BAE and Pratt & Miller we found the perfect complement to Northrop Grumman’s innovation and our ground vehicle sustainment programs that we have been producing for quite some time,” he said.
“This process began and ended with the warfighter in mind,” he added. “And all three companies have tirelessly dedicated themselves to producing this clean sheet approach that meets the demands of our U.S. Special Forces.”
Outlining the need for the new vehicle, Frank Sturek, a land forces modernization campaign manager for Northrop Grumman, noted that the current USSOCOM Ground Mobility Vehicle “does not meet the long range surveillance and airfield seizure mission requirements.”
In addition to internal transport by MH/CH-47 helicopter, Sturek added that “USSOCOM wanted a vehicle with high off road mobility and quick dash speed that leveraged technologies from the off road racing and high performance racing communities” as well as the ability to configure the vehicle load to meet their own requirements.
“They told us that they need a vehicle where a couple operators can get in there – with a lot of stuff.’ And the vehicle needs to be able to do that for the long range surveillance mission. And they also need the same vehicle to be able to transport a lot of dudes with not a lot of stuff for an airfield seizure mission.”
In addition to the GMV 1.1 program, Sturek said that the MAV-L industry team sees the potential product market expanding to include forced entry equipment sets for the U.S. Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps, Marine Corps forced entry equipment requirements, Army and Marine Corps reconnaissance elements, and several international special operations markets.