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MK48 Logistics Vehicle System (LVS) "Dragon Wagon"

The Marine Corps fielded the heavy tactical vehicle system during the mid 1980s. The Logistics Vehicle System (LVS) is a modular system consisting of a MK48 front power unit and, originally, four interchangeable rear body units (RBU). Three of the rear body unit configurations provide the capability to move containers. The remaining two configurations provide support capability for the movement of containers and are the MK15 Wrecker Recovery and the MK16 5th Wheel Semitrailer Adapter. The MK48 can be attached to any one of these trailer units through an articulation joint to form an integral, dual body, fully articulated,8x8 vehicle with cross-country mobility. They are used primarily by combat service support motor transport units to haul supplies in large quantities from beachheads, ports, railheads,or airfields to combat service support areas.

The front power unit and rear body units are joined by a hydraulically powered articulated joint that assists in steering the vehicle and allows a degree of independent movement between the front and rear units for more mobility. The articulated joint transfers automotive power to the RBU axles and hydraulic power for any hydraulically operated equipment. The completed units are 8x8 systems with two front steering axles. The LVS has an off road payload of 12.5 tons and an on road payload of 22.5 tons.

The MK48 Front Power Unit is an enclosed cab, diesel powered, automatic transmission, 4x4 vehicle that provides all automotive and hydraulic power for the LVS combinations. MK48 is an all-metal, fully enclosed, 4x4 tactical truck. The crew consists of two. The MK48's low-profile,cab-forward configuration permits loading aboard military aircraft with no preparation. The MK48 is designed to power LVS trailer units:The MK14 Mod O Trailer, Container Hauler (D0876); the MK15 Mod O Trailer, Wrecker-Recovery (D0877); the MK16 Mod O Trailer,Semitrailer Adapter (D0878); the MK17 Mod O Trailer, Dropside Cargo (D0879); and the MK18 Mod O Trailer, Ribbon Bridge Transporter (D0881).

The MK14 Container Transporter Rear Body Unit is a flatbed trailer for transporting bulk cargo and standardized cargo containers. The MK14 Container Hauler is an ISO twist-lock equipped, 22.5-ton capacity, rear body unit designed to transport containers with standard 20-foot footprints. It can also transport smaller containers (QUADCONs, TRICONs, and other types of containers) if they are configured into a 20-foot ISO unit. Since the container is lifted from the base, height is not a limitation. It is equipped with ISO lock points for securing 20 foot standard containers, the Marine Corps Field Logistics System (FLS) bulk liquid tanks and pump units (SIXCONS), and standard Marine Corps Expeditionary Shelter System (MCESS). The MK14 can also be equipped with a tow bar adapter kit that allows it to be tandem towed as an un-powered trailer behind a MK48/MK14 combination. The tandem tow is limited to the 12.5 ton off road payload.

The MK17 Dropside Cargo with Crane is a rear body trailer with an 8-foot x 16-foot loading area designed as a troop carrier as well as a carrier for fuel or water modules and 8-foot x 8-foot x 10-foot shelters and/or containers.

The MK18 Self-Loading Ribbon Bridge Transporter/ Container Hauler is a hydraulically powered tilt bed rear body trailer designed to load and off-load ISO containers, ribbon bridge components, or fill material without the assistance of materials handling equipment.

The LVS was originally fielded from 1985 through 1989 to fulfill Marine Corp's heavy tactical lift requirements. Although predominantly operated by units within the Force Service Support Group, units in the Marine Air Wing and Division also rely on the LVS to perform a wide variety of missions. The LVS was designed for a twenty-year economic useful life (EUL). This EUL was based on the equipment going through a mid-life rebuild at the Depots. This fleet-wide rotation through the Depots never occurred. Most components in the current fleet of LVS front power units (FPUs) and rear body units (RBUs) will begin to reach the end of their EUL in the year 2005. Operations and Maintenance costs of this system for Fleet Marine Force units are rising at an unacceptable rate. Acceptable Readiness (80% or above) is continually harder to maintain as the equipment continues to age.

The need for a Logistics Vehicle System (LVS) rebuild/replacement is high. The current LVS is the backbone of the Marine Corps' heavy truck fleet. It is the primary vehicle used for throughput of critical supplies to sustain the force. Because the LVS did not receive its requisite mid-life rebuild, the LVS is considered to have passed the halfway point of its twenty-year EUL. The current heavy tactical fleet began to reach the end of its service life in FY05. If this fleet is not replaced or rebuilt, it will place a significant burden on our maintenance system and jeopardize the MAGTF's ability to accomplish its mission.

MK48 LVS Ballistic Armor Kit

In December 2003 the Marine Corps Systems Command sought commercial sources capable of manufacturing ballistic armor kit components, to include ballistic glass for windshields, produced for tactical wheeled vehicles. The armor shall provide ballistic protection for either the Logistics Vehicle System (LVS) fleet. Solicitation was for an active production line with a proven ballistic capability. Perimeter, underbody, and overhead protection components would be mutually exclusive in their defensive capability and installation. The armor system shall meet the mission needs and environmental conditions required by operating forces and must provide technical commonality with the vehicle.

The crew cab perimeter armor was designed for the LVS. The perimeter armor will withstand multiple (up to 3 rounds within one square foot) 7.62x39 M80 ball rounds fired from a one-meter standoff (threshold) with a 7.62 x 39 Armor Piercing (AP) rounds fired from a one hundred-meter offset (objective). The perimeter armor will withstand all fragmentation smaller than 1 inch from an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) detonated at 4 meters with a pound of C4 (objective). The mine protection kit shall protect the crew occupants from blast, fragments, and injurious acceleration effects of blast mines up to the equivalent of 12 pounds of composition B (threshold), 16 pounds of composition B (objective). The bottom fragmentation protection shall be equivalent to 0.5 inches of aluminum armor (threshold), rolled homogeneous armor (objective), in order to protect the crew from grenades, bomblets, and mortar rounds used as mines. Overhead protection for the crew compartment must stop 90% of artillery fragments (U.S. 155mm high energy (HE) round, M107 (Composition B)) fired from any elevation or azimuth and detonated 60 meters from the vehicle, with a 90% confidence level.




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