10 Nov 04. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD – News), has been awarded a contract for the design and development of a revolutionary new weapon system that is transported to the field within the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. Awarded by the U.S. Marine Corps in a competition against United Defense Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) for development of the Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS), the contract has an initial value of $18,295,337. When fielded, the EFSS will provide the Marine Expeditionary Force with quick-response, highly lethal, indirect fire support. This contract contains options, which if exercised, will bring the total cumulative value of this contract to $296,281,243. Work will be performed in St Petersburg, Fla. (51 percent); St Aubin, France (32 percent); Ocala, Fla. (15 percent); Huntsville, Ala. (1 percent); and Alexandria, Va. (1 percent); and is expected to be completed by September 2005. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Internet, with three offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contract activity (M67854-05-C-6014). The EFSS supplies accurate and immediately responsive short-range indirect fire coverage at ranges of 7 to 20 kilometers, supporting both of the Marine Corps’ fighting doctrines, the Ship-to-Objective Maneuver and the Operational Maneuver From the Sea.The Marine Corps envisions the EFSS as the third “leg” of an Indirect Fires triad. The other two legs are the long-range High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), with a firing range exceeding 45 kilometers; and the Joint Lightweight Howitzer M777, providing medium range coverage between 10 and 30 kilometers.
Michael S. Wilson, president of General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, said, “We are very pleased to be selected by the Marine Corps for their EFSS solution and look forward to producing and fielding the entire EFSS system of vehicles, weapons, munitions, fire control and logistics support in full compliance with the MARCORSYSCOM program schedule. “General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems will be the EFSS systems integrator and will coordinate production and deliveries of the overall system from its EFSS partners. These partners include TDA Armaments SAS, a joint venture company of Thales Inc. and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), for their RT 120 Rifled Mortar System; and American Growler Inc. of Ocala, Florida for all EFSS vehicles. Other General Dynamics teammates include General Dynamics Canada of Ottawa, for the EFSS ballistic fire control computers; and Tec-Masters Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., for integrated and contractor logistics support.The General Dynamics EFSS solution is comprised of a prime mover vehicle, the RT 120 rifled towed mortar, an ammunition supply vehicle and an ammunition trailer. The prime mover tows the RT 120 rifled mortar, which is capable of firing a full family of 120mm rifled mortar rounds and all US smoothbore 120mm mortar ammunition to the range and deflections
inherent in those projectiles. The ammunition trailer, which is towed by the ammunition supply vehicle, holds up to 36 mortar rounds in factory-recyclable steel containers.
The specifications of the Prowler vehicles built to win the USMC competition: There are two vehicles. Both are configured to fit in the relatively small confines of the V22 Osprey aircraft. Both vehicles are 60in (152.4cm) wide and weigh less than 4,900lbs (2227kg).
The max axle loading for the V22 is 2,450lbs (1113.5kg) per axle. The smaller 3 passenger prime mover vehicle used to two the 120mm Mortar or
Ammo trailer is approximately 10ft (305cm) long and the bigger 4 passenger ITV vehicle is approximately 14ft (427cm) long. The ITV vehicle can be configured with gun mounts for a 30 or 50 cal. machine gun or anti tank rocket la