In 2009, with its bridge buy of FMTV medium trucks in place, and initial awards for the potential JLTV Hummer replacement designs underway, the next order of business on the US Army’s agenda was a new Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles multi-year contract: FHTV-III. That multi-billion dollar FHTV-III contract has been awarded – not as a re-compete like FMTV, but as a single-source solicitation.
Oshkosh has provided the core of this capability for over 20 yeas now. Its Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) and their 13-ton payloads are the mainstay of the FHTV fleet, serving in variants that include M977/985 Cargo, M978 Fueler, M982/983 Tractors, and M984 Wrecker/Tow; they also serve as heavy transporters for Patriot and THAAD air defense systems. M1074/75 Palletized Load Systems (PLS) and PLS trailers (PLST) are best known for their automated container/pallet loading arms, and for their Universal Power Interface Kit (UPIK) that can add modules for firefighting, construction, cranes, cement mixing, etc. The M1000/1070 Heavy Equipment Transporters (HET) are flatbeds that can transport a 70-ton Abrams tank – or anything less – in order to save wear and tear on expensive armored vehicles and on the roads. A specialized FHTV truck called the M1977 CBT can even lay bridges. This article details the FHTV-III trucks, and related developments and contracts: