OPERATIONAL BENEFITS TO LIGHTWEIGHTING OF MILITARY VEHICLES

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-0270

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
Recently, the Army has published the Lightweight Combat Vehicle Science and Technology Campaign (LCVSTC), within which it was recommended to develop a better understanding of the operational impact that weight reduction has to the Army. The question of the value of lightweighting to the military is, as the authors describe in this paper, a complex topic. The operational benefits of weight reduction are surmised, but not quantified or proven. Weight reduction for upgrades is different than for new programs. Weight reduction technologies are treated on par with requirement trades. And finally, the financial implications of weight reduction are not well understood or quantified. The answer to the question: “what is the value to the Army of a ton saved?” is “it depends.” The value can range from $0.00 to several $100,000 per vehicle. The operational impact of weight reduction presented in the paper are 1. Transportability – increased weight affects transportability in different ways and has different limitations. Air, rail, and land transportability are discussed in an operational context beyond simply carrying capacity of the transport mode. Range, time to transport, availability of transport modes, and path predictability are discussed. 2. Fuel Consumption – A 10% increase in weight leads to increase 5% increase in fuel consumption. New modeling and simulation results of the weight impact on fuel consumption including secondary and tertiary effects on the logistics chain based on a validated vehicle simulation models and SOSAT model will be presented. 3. Combat effectiveness – Weight impacts vehicle mobility, which in turn impacts combat effectiveness. The paper will describe a study being conducted to understand the impact that weight has on combat effectiveness as measured by losses, kills, and mission completion times. 4. Hardpoints – to understand the impact of requirements and weight, a new concept of hard point is introduced. A hard point is any externally imposed weight constraint on the system, such as transportability restrictions. Whenever a vehicle’s weight crosses over a hard point, then its operational effectiveness is reduced. Whenever a vehicle’s weight falls below a hard point, its operational effectiveness is increased. The paper discusses the impact that these hardpoints on weight reduction arguments.
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