The US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center has awarded Oshkosh a $49 million contract to integrate existing Palletized Load System (PLS) vehicles with scalable autonomous technology as part of the Expedient Leader Follower (ExLF) programme.
Press Release: Oshkosh Defense LLC, 27th June. The ExLF programme addresses the needs of the Leader Follower Directed Requirement and Programme of Record by removing soldiers from the vehicle while operating in highly-contested areas. Oshkosh autonomous technology was designed with the flexibility to be operated in a variety of modes, including leader-follower, fully autonomous, and teleoperation, to support manned or unmanned operations.“The PLS has been an integral part of the US Army’s resupply and distribution fleet for over 25 years,” said Pat Williams, Vice President and General Manager of Army and Marine Corps programmes for Oshkosh Defense. “By equipping these vehicles with autonomous capabilities, we can significantly reduce our soldiers’ exposure to enemy threats by taking them out of the vehicle altogether.”
Under the contract, Oshkosh will integrate an initial 70 autonomy kits for Programme Development and Operational Technical Demonstrations (OTD). The contract holds an option to procure up to 150 autonomy kits.
“We are committed to bringing this life-saving technology to the battlefield,” Williams continued. “Through nearly 15 years of Oshkosh research and development, including independent and government testing, we are very proud to see this technology reach the US Army fleets.”