The Hendrick Jeep GMV is a tactically-prepared COTS vehicle, leveraging large-scale automotive production exceeding 200,000 units annually, and competitive multi-source supply chains to significantly reduce acquisition and sustainment costs. Powered by an efficient 2.8L engine driving a two-speed 4WD transfer case, the Jeep GMV can be fueled by JP-8 and all global diesels, complying with the Army's 2012 Single Fuel regulation. Jeep GMV is certified for helicopter internal air transport (HIAT) in CH-47 and all fixed wing transports, through the use of a patented process for modifying commercial vehicles to meet military tie-down requirements. Weighing in at 4500 lbs curb weight to enable UH-60 sling load in hot and high conditions, Jeep GMV is mobility validated by government testing for 7700 lbs gross weight. Through S&T deployments OCONUS, these vehicles successfully supported ARSOF combat operations in the most austere locations.
The Army reports that rollovers are the most common vehicle accident resulting in fatalities, and rollover survivability is a key GMV requirement. Government research shows that electronic stability control (ESC) prevents nearly one-third of all fatal crashes and is 88% effective in preventing light truck rollovers. TARDEC engineers advise that with stability control, “The vehicle will be safer and easier to control. It will help the Soldier operate with more confidence and situational awareness”. ESC is low cost and lightweight, and is now mandated in every U.S. motor vehicle. ESC systems have been employed on the JLTV program since 2007, in HMMWV modernization concepts, and onboard Hendrick Commando Jeep during OCONUS deployment. Hendrick Jeep is the only GMV contender providing this active safety technology.
Further reducing operations burden, Jeep GMV utilizes Jeep's on-board diagnostic (OBD) system, in conjunction with a globally maintained service information network. In commercial markets, automotive manufacturers are responsible for vehicle repairs after the sale, thus they continually invest their own funds in proactive quality improvement and in making diagnosis and repairs faster, easier, and less costly. In just the last five years, more than one million Jeep Wranglers have been sold onto every continent in the world. With that fleet alone logging an estimated 10 billion miles annually, in every operating environment, the service network continually compiles use, trouble, and repair data to inform future engineering and to issue the latest repair procedures from the manufacturer directly to parts and service technicians. These systems will enhance uptime for the GMV fleet, and when compared to vehicles purpose-built solely for government use, they will greatly reduce repair costs and minimize government-maintained parts stocks.
"Hendrick Dynamics works at the intersection of commercial automotive and special application vehicles," said general manager Marshall Carlson, "and when the Army issued their GMV RFI 'to screen potential commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions' it showed their new direction. There are such marked advantages for the government in using real commercial vehicles here, as opposed to one-off, lower-volume builds where the government is the only customer. The nation has an incredibly robust automotive industrial base, and if the U.S. can tap into this existing asset, then we can save resources to invest in the more advanced capabilities we need to maintain dominance."