Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle (MPCV)
GSTAMIDS Block 0 Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle (MPCV)
In 1999, the US Army began a Foreign Comparative Test (FCT) to determine the most appropriate vehicle to serve as the Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle component of the GSTAMIDS Block O Program. There were 2 candidates being considered for the control vehicle. They were the Reumech OMC Casspir Mk II and the Denel-Mechem Lion II. Both vehicles were produced in the Republic of South Africa. The Casspir Mk II was sold in the United States by LNY, Inc, while the Lion II was sold in the US by Technical Solutions Group. These companies provided vehicles to the US Army for testing. While the Lion II was a relatively new development at the time, the Casspir had been sold to some 90 countries, including India.
In June 2001, the US Army selected a Lion II based vehicle. The basis of issue of the vehicle would be one-for-one with GSTAMIDS Block 0 and Block 1 systems, as the vehicle was initially intended to be an integral component of both systems. Technical Solutions Group was asked to refine the design, and the resulting product was called the Buffalo. The vehicles visual similarities to the other contender in the initial selection, the Casspir Mk II, led to some confusion about the lineage of the vehicles, compounded by the fact that both were of South African origin. While visually similar to the Casspir, the Lion II and Buffalo were separate developments. Neither series of vehicles are related to the South African mine protected vehicle, the Buffel.
On 12 September 2002, Technical Solutions Group, of North Charleston, South Carolina, was awarded a $6,560,651 firm-fixed-price contract by US Army Communications-Electronics Command for the production of 10 mine protected clearance vehicles, development of a system support plan, delivery of maintenance spares, development of training courseware and development of an electronic technical manual. Work would be performed in North Charleston, and was expected to be completed by 12 September 2007. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This was a sole source contract initiated on 25 July 2002.
In early 2006 the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC), on behalf of the Product Manager, Bridging-Countermine Division, solicited informational white papers for procurement of Mine Protected Clearance Vehicles used in point, route and area clearance of mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). The MPCV system was to be a blast protected vehicle platform that would operate in explosive hazardous environments. It would support Future Engineer Force (FEF) Clearance companies in route and area clearance operations, and Explosive Hazards Teams in explosive hazards reconnaissance operations.
The primary function of the MPCV was to provide a blast resistant platform to protect Soldiers and their equipment during interrogation and classification of suspected explosive hazards. During route and area clearance operations, the MPCV crew would interrogate suspected explosive hazards, and confirm or deny the explosive hazard threat using an articulating arm. The MPCV would enable maneuver and movement in the battle-space, capitalize on integrated joint capabilities to expand mutual support across expanded areas of operation, and allow units to conduct relatively independent non-linear operations within contiguous or non-contiguous areas of operations. The request for information (RFI) was issued to identify the availability of candidate systems capable of meeting specific requirements and assess production capabilities, logistical supportability, and post production support for the products. The objective of this request was to primarily focus on non-developmental vehicle solutions that would meet the Army's requirements. The Army's requirements were as follows:
- 100 percent of communication interfaces; services; policy enforcement controls; and data correctness available. SINGCARS (2) and FBCB2 included as part of baseline configuration
- Transportable by rail, sealift, highway, air (C-5, C-17) without disassembly
- Operator and crew survive AT Mine Blast Protection; Ballistic Protection and IED Protection
- Operate by 2 Soldier with ability to transport 4 additional
- Designed for quick repair (< 8 hrs repair time after blast) in the field after a mine blast
- Initial maintenance provided through CLS. Battle damage repair kits and detailed manuals need to be provided. Manuals needed to go through full VAL/VERA
- Traverse slopes up to 25 degrees without rollover and be able to negotiate a 18 inch wall
- Parking brake able to hold vehicle on a 20 percent slope
- Tactical lighting system inside and outside of vehicle with blackout capabilities
- Secure storage area(s) for all TO&E equipment, on-board systems, and systems hosted by the vehicles
- Capable of interrogating a suspected explosive hazard from inside the vehicle. Interrogation arm must allow the Soldier to interrogate a 1 square meter area within 3 minutes in sand up to 12 inch in depth
- Mean Miles Between System Abort > 1500 miles / Reliability of the Interrogation Subsystem > 100 MTBSA / Maintenance Ratio > 0.23 MMHOH
- Vehicle must have run flat tires
- Vehicle must have available space claims for add-on electronic systems
- Upgradeable to provide NBC protection and operate in MOPP 4 conditions
- Equipped with an interior climatic control system to provide heating and cooling / Capable of operating in hot and basic MIL-standard climatic conditions
- System must survive the INWE of High-Altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP)
The description of the system was required to include, but was not limited to: availability or production schedule; cost; mine blast protection under tire and hull; ballistic protection from direct and indirect fire; nuclear biological and chemical (NBC) protection; crew size; curb weight; payload; range; length; width; height; ground clearance; air conditioning; speed; vertical step; engine model; engine horsepower; engine torque; tire type; design considerations that lead to quick repair after a mine/IED strike; vehicle repair manuals; storage compartment area and storage space; tactical lighting; air transportability; communication systems; interrogation; logistics support; and operation in various climatic conditions.
The data received in response to the RFI would be used for informational purposes only and did not, in any way, mandate or impose requirements. PM Bridging did not intend to award a contract on the basis of the RFI or otherwise pay for information solicited herein. The US government requested unlimited rights to the data provided, however, recognized that proprietary data might be included with the information provided. If this was the case, proprietary data had to be clearly marked as such and separated from the unrestricted information as an addendum. Proprietary information would be protected. All responses to the request for information were to be submitted by the close of business on 20 January 2006.
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