The cancelled M8 Buford AGS project (the replacement for the Sheridan tank) comes to mind.
Army Looks to Build Air-Droppable Armored Vehicle
The Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga., recently released a Sources Sought document to see if industry is capable of building the Ultra Light Combat Vehicle – an armored chariot that could be carried by UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, or airdropped by C-130 aircraft
Unlike the heavily-armored GCV, the priority for the proposed ULCV would be transportability.
Here are some of the initial requirements that Maneuver officials are searching for:
-- Internally transportable by CH-47 Chinook helicopter in combat configuration under high/hot conditions.
-- Sling-load transportable by UH-60 in combat configuration under high/hot conditions.
-- Air-droppable from C-130 and C-17 aircraft in combat configuration.
The ULCV would have to carry up to 3,200 pounds, or a nine-man infantry squad, with equipment. It would have a range of up to 300 miles on internal fuel and would need to be able to travel across country and on trails as well as over rubble in an urban combat environment, the document states.
Maneuver officials are also interested in the vehicle performing on high-altitude terrain such as ridges and summits.
The ULCV would provide a base level of protection through high-mobility to avoid enemy contact and soldier personal protection equipment since the vehicle supports dismounted soldiers, according to the document.
For now, Maneuver officials want to arm the ULCV with crew-served weapons already found in IBCTs. The goal is to "incorporate a medium-caliber weapon into squad operations," the document states.
But the ULCV is far from replacing GCV on the Army's priority list since it "does not currently have an approved requirement," the document states.
"The information solicitation and subsequent vendor demonstration and product display are conducted for the sole purpose of demonstrating product capabilities."
The defense industry has until Feb. 21 to respond to the ULCV Sources Sought.
Meanwhile, Army officials continue to work with the Marine Corps to deliver the Humvee replacement, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Leaders from both services were forced to pare down expectations for this truck as costs spiraled out of control as officials wanted to increase armor while lightening the overall weight.
It's unclear if the Army will face a similar challenge with this new vehicle as the program is at its very beginning stages.