Palletized Load System (PLS)
The Palletized Load System (PLS) is composed of a prime mover truck with integral self-loading and unloading transport capability, a 16.5-ton payload trailer, and demountable cargo beds (flatracks). The vehicle can also be equipped with materiel handling equipment and/or a winch. PLS is a key transportation component of the ammunition distribution system and will perform long range hauling, local hauling and unit resupply of ammunition.
The PLS is a 33 short ton gross capacity truck and trailer combination; (16.5 stons each) self load/unload transportation system. Flatracks are demountable cargo beds which come in three types: the "A" frame (M1077), the Intermodal Flatrack (M-1), and the Container Roll-in/Out Platform (CROP) (M-3). The PLS lift system can pick up 36,250 lbs at the lift hook. The M1077 basic flatrack weighs 3,250 lbs, which allows a payload of 16.5 ston. The M-1, which is ISO intermodal, weighs approximately 7,800 lbs and allows a payload of 14.25 stons for PLS and a 15.35 ston payload for intermodal. The CROP weighs less than 4,000 lbs and has a payload of 16.13 stons (36,250-4,000 = 32,250 lbs). Currently, the M-3 CROP is in low-rate production by two manufacturers, Summa Technology and Hyundai, for 12,780 units. Fielding and full production are pending TECOM safety release.
The Palletized Load System tactical truck is a 5 axle, 10 wheel drive vehicle equipped with a 500 horsepower Detroit Diesel engine, Allison automatic transmission and Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS). This combination provides a highly mobile system capable of transporting its payload in virtually any type of terrain, in any type of weather, and maintaining pace with the self-propelled artillery systems that it supports. The PLS comes in two mission oriented configurations: the M1074 and the M1075. The M1074 is equipped with a variable reach Material Handling Crane (MHC) to support forward deployed Field Artillery units. The M1075, without MHC, is used in conjunction with the M1076 trailer in support of transportation line haul missions.
The M1076 trailer is a 3 axle, wagon style trailer with a 16.5 ton payload capacity equipped with a flatrack that is interchangeable between truck and trailer. The combination of truck and trailer provides the combined payload capacity of 33 tons. The flatracks are lifted on and off the truck and trailer by a hydraulic powered arm mounted on the truck eliminating the need for additional material handling equipment. The controls for the arm are located inside the cab, allowing the operator to load or unload the truck in less than one minute without leaving the cab of the truck. The trailer can be loaded or unloaded in less than 5 minutes utilizing the remote arm control.
The PLS is capable of transporting multiple configurations of cargo utilizing a variety of flatracks. The M1077 and M1077A1 flatracks are sideless flatracks used to transport pallets of ammunition and other classes of supplies. The M1 flatracks carries identical classes of supplies. It is ISO/CSC certified and is suitable for intermodal transport, including transport on container ships. Ammunition can be loaded on the M1 at depots, transported via container ship to theater, picked up by the PLS truck and carried forward without use of any material handling equipment. The walls fold inward when empty to facilitate stacking for retrograde. The M3 Container Roll-in/Out Platform (CROP) is a flatrack which fits inside a 20' ISO container. The Army plans to procure up to 12,000 CROPs. Container Handling Unit (CHU) is a kit installed on the PLS which allows the direct load, transport, and unload of 20' ISO containers without the use of an external flatrack
Palletized Loading System-Enhanced (PLS-E) was demonstrated in a Concept Experimentation Program (CEP) with PLS vehicles from 24th Corps Support Group, 1/41 Field Artillery Battalion and the 4th I.D. at the National Training Center (NTC). PLS enhancements include: Movement Tracking Systems (MTS) and Driver Vision Enhancer (DVE). These enhanced vehicles used PLS flatrack sideboard kits, half-height containers and fuel/water modules to carry all classes of supply. PLS-E will provide two-way communication, eight digit grid coordinate positions and total asset visibility. PLS-E will allow the delivery of all types of cargo, anywhere on the battlefield, at any time, in any type of weather. It will become a combat multiplier not only in the tactical phases of a campaign, but also in the post conflict equipment accountability mission role. Ammunition issue at the NTC takes 3 days and was completed in 1.5 days with PLS-E. On several occasions vehicles were reassigned missions when located at the BSA or enroute to the DSA. PLS-E saved fuel, transportation and driver assets in these situations. All flatracks were successfully recovered because eight digit grid coordinates were available through the MTS controller station information base. All units that have PLS will receive the enhancements. Required quantities of MTS/DVE for fielding under PLS-E are: 432 systems for 2 divisions and their support slices.
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