US Army receives first production M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck
Mack Defense has handed over the first production M917A3 Heavy Dump Trucks (HDTs) to the US Army. The delivery took place on 23 September at the Mack Experience Centre in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Production of the trucks began in Q1 2021, following investment of $6.5 million to create a dedicated HDT production line.
The M917A3 will be operated by engineering units on construction and maintenance missions for infrastructure such as roads, airfields, landing strips and supply facilities.
According to Wolfgang Petermann, US Army project manager for transportation systems in the Programme Executive Office for Combat Support & Combat Service Support, the existing US Army dump truck fleet includes some vehicles that are nearly 50 years old.
‘Many of the army's missions are within extremely austere environments, so if we need to build things to support combat or training operations, dump trucks are absolutely essential to the force,’ Petermann said.
This truck is based on the Mack Granite model and features an all-wheel-drive 8x8 configuration. An armoured cab was also engineered, utilising the comfort features and amenities of a commercial truck, while adding force protection to help keep occupants safe in hostile environments.
Mack Defense engineers increased the suspension’s ride height to create a heavy dump truck capable of meeting the demanding payload and mobility requirements set by the US Army HDT programme, according to a company press release.
The M917A3s are powered by 13-liter Mack MP8 engines, delivering 440 horsepower and 1,660 lb.-ft. of torque.
In May 2018, the branch awarded the company the contract that could be worth up to $296.4 million over seven years to produce up to 683 non-armoured and armoured M917A3 HDTs.
After completing two years of successful Production Vehicle Testing of 12 vehicles at the army’s Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland, the service signed an agreement to purchase 99 Mack Granite-based HDTs.
In March this year, an additional order of 56 HDTs were placed as part of the 2021 Presidential budget.
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