American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense [GM] said Wednesday they have teamed up to pursue the Army’s potential $5 billion Common Tactical Truck (CTT) program.

The two companies said they will offer a version of Rheinmetall’s new HX3 tactical truck, which the German defense firm first unveiled last year, for the Army’s competition to find a replacement for its heavy tactical vehicle fleet.

HX3 tactical truck. Photo: Rheinmetall.

“American Rheinmetall Vehicles is a committed partner to the Army, bringing next-generation capability, technology and competition to high priority Army modernization programs like CTT. GM Defense shares our commitment, and together our team will provide a transformational truck to support the Army and its soldiers,” Matthew Warnick, American Rheinmetall Vehicles’ managing director, said in a statement. 

The Army began soliciting proposals in late June for CTT’s multi-phased prototyping effort, with plans to award up to five deals in December for vendors to each deliver three test vehicles. 

CTT, formerly known as Next Generation Future Truck, is intended to replace the Army’s Palletized Load System A1 and Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck A4 and M915 and M1088 Tractors, with new variants that utilize a common chassis.

“The Army is seeking a modern platform featuring advanced driver safety systems, increased off-road mobility, cybersecurity, machine learning, artificial intelligence, improved survivability, and fuel efficiency among other emerging technologies,” American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense wrote in their announcement. “A truck with maximum commercial elements, able to perform military missions, and that can bring commonality amongst mission roles are top priorities for the Army in the program.”

Rheinmetall said its HX3 truck, of which it’s offering an ‘Americanized’ version for CTT, features “advances in power, mobility, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and an open systems architecture with pathways to hybrid technology incorporation, leader follower driving, and autonomous operations.”

When Rheinmetall unveiled HX3 in May 2021, the company noted the new platform is available in 4×4, 6×6, 8×8 and 10×10 configurations with plans to ramp up capability for full-rate production by 2024 (Defense Daily, May 6 2021). 

“The HX3 is also better able than ever to serve as a systems carrier for complex weapon and radar systems. These include truck auto-based artillery systems, for example, which are likely to gain importance in coming years,” Rheinmetall said at the time. “In combination with the newly developed Artillery Truck Interface, the HX 10×10 could be utilized in future as the standard basis for various artillery solutions or similar systems.”

A GM Defense spokesperson told Defense Daily the company’s contribution to the partnership will include leveraging its experience with rapid prototyping, agile design and engineering, and rapid delivery.

”We’ll leverage that agility, along with GM’s commercial technology, to deliver an advanced military truck prototype,” the GM Defense spokesperson said. “Should we win the prototype phase of the Common Tactical Truck program, GM Defense will leverage GM’s investments in autonomy, safety, fuel reduction and advanced driver assistance systems. Should we win follow-on phases of the CTT opportunity, we’ll leverage GM’s manufacturing capabilities, such as advanced manufacturing tools and techniques, to meet or exceed the U.S. Army’s requirement.”

The two companies specifically cited GM Defense’s ongoing work delivering the Army’s new lightweight air-droppable Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV), based on the ZR2 variants of the Chevrolet Colorado midsize truck, which was also awarded under an Other Transaction Authority agreement. 

“On the heels of successfully delivering the ISV to our Army customer, GM Defense is excited to join American Rheinmetall Vehicles on the CTT program to deliver another exceptional mobility solution for our soldiers,” Steve duMont, president of GM Defense, said in a statement. “This strategic collaboration enables GM Defense to continue showcasing our advanced capabilities, leveraging GM’s innovation and proven commercial technology. With American Rheinmetall Vehicles’ HX3 as the starting point, I’m confident that together we will deliver a winning solution that meets or exceeds the Army’s requirements and provides a platform for growth and technology insertion to support our warfighters well into the future.”

The Army recently achieved its First Unit Equipped milestone for the ISV, after delivering an initial group of 59 vehicles to an element of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Rheinmetall’s current customers for its HX line of trucks include Germany, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Norway and Sweden.

Following the open competition for the CTT prototyping program, the Army said it may award the initial production contract “without the use of competitive procedures, so long as the participants in this transaction successfully complete the prototype project” (Defense Daily, March 1).