LOCKHEED MARTIN ENTERS NORTH AMERICAN TRUCK MARKET
By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE
On September 16th, Lockheed Martin announced that it had entered into a license agreement with HMT Vehicles Ltd. of Bristol, United Kingdom, to manufacture and sell tactical wheeled vehicles to government customers in North America.
The agreement will give Lockheed Martin exclusive rights to supply light (4×4) and medium (6×6) tactical wheeled vehicles directly to military and government markets in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The agreement also will enable Lockheed Martin to pursue international sales via the U.S. Government’s Foreign Military Sales program.
“This type of vehicle fulfills an urgent need by the U.S. military’s rapid reaction forces for a highly mobile, tactical vehicle system that meets the expeditionary requirements of the modern battlefield,” said Frank C. Meyer, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration Owego president. “Our Owego team has a 40-year heritage of integrating complex systems for ground and airborne platforms, including the design and manufacture of military vehicle production lines. This expertise, coupled with the versatility and proven reliability of the HMT design, creates great value for our customer.”
Rex Smith, chairman of HMT Vehicles Ltd., said, “We are very proud indeed that Lockheed Martin has selected our vehicle to head up its thrust into the military truck market and wish the company every success.”
An expeditionary transport that exceeds NATO’s tactical vehicle standards for all-terrain travel and provides superior air transport mobility, the vehicles are currently in service with British Armed Forces. High mobility transport vehicles are manufactured for the worldwide market by HMT Vehicles’ sister company Supacat Ltd., based in Dunkeswell, United Kingdom.
“Lockheed Martin will manufacture the vehicles in New York using subassemblies sourced primarily from U.S. suppliers,” said Meyer. “Production will include installation and integration of custom mission payloads, including electronic warfare, command and control, logistics, security, medical and fire control support.”
The vehicles Lockheed Martin will produce consist of a common platform design in two configurations: a 4×4 vehicle of 8,800 lbs curb weight, and a 6×6 vehicle of 10,120 lbs.
Each vehicle has a superior weight-to-payload ratio and can tow up to 8,800 lbs. As a prime artillery mover, the vehicles can tow the M777 155mm lightweight field howitzer.
Marketed as the LM4x4 and LM6x6, each vehicle has a range of up to 380 miles, and can achieve a top speed of 80 mph for rapid movement in battlefield environments. An auxiliary fuel tank provides additional range.
The LM4x4 vehicle will provide U.S. forces with a military truck transportable by light and medium-weight air carriers. Unlike other similar-sized tactical vehicles in the U.S. military inventory, the low cab configuration enables internal transportation or external sling-loading by CH-47 and CH-53 medium-lift helicopters. The vehicle also can be carried by C-130 transport aircraft.
Superior all-terrain capability is the result of a unique, long-travel air suspension system applied to each of the large diameter wheels to absorb shock, a low vehicle center of gravity and a rigid space-frame chassis to prevent payload twist. The chassis also can be height-adjusted to suit different terrain and speeds.
The light LM4x4 vehicle and the medium LM6x6 vehicle will offer ISO-standard twist locks for rapid payload interchangeability. These unique features will allow NATO and U.S. forces to carry a wide variety of existing shelters and payloads. Other firsts include chassis-access panels and spare parts commonality across both variants to simplify maintenance. Light armor protection options and the ability to mount self-defense weaponry provide increased force protection. ATTLESPACE has been a long term supporter of the HMT truck. The HMT wi