March 12, 2013 --
By James Streberger, PM LAV Product Manager, Mobility and Obsolescence Program
Working closely with the Army’s Project Management Office for the Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle Program Management Office, or PM LAV, found a way to overcome a significant reduction in required funding for a planned upgrade, resulting in an initial estimated savings of more than $400,000.
“With the Department of Defense entering a period of fiscal austerity, we found a way to save the Marine Corps a significant amount of taxpayer dollars,” said Col. Mark Brinkman, the program manager for LAV. “The initial savings with this upgrade is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The upgrade will replace the Family of Light Armored Vehicles’ obsolete powerpack, driveline and steering systems with currently available and fielded non-developmental solutions. The upgraded powerpack consists of the Cummins 6.7L ISB turbo diesel, Allison 2500SP transmission and a MOWAG transfer case.
According to officials in PM LAV, a program under Marine Corps Systems Command, the powerpack will mate to an upgraded driveline comprised of the Army Stryker vehicle Generation 3.5 differentials. The Army is upgrading Stryker Gen 3.5 drivelines to Gen 5.5, making a significant amount of the bolt-on, upgraded Gen 3.5 differentials available to PM LAV at no cost.
This program is currently under contract with General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada to assemble 11 LAVs with these sub-systems to support engineering, test and logistics product development at the GDLS-C facility in London, Canada. According to PM LAV officials, the cost of the differentials that would have been required to complete the upgrade of these 11 articles was estimated at $408,000.
In February, PM LAV signed a memorandum of agreement with the SBCT PMO located at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich., for 44 new Stryker differentials at no cost to support the LAV modifications. PM LAV is coordinating with the Army to acquire additional excess Stryker driveline assets as their fleet completes its upgrade of about 370 vehicles over the next few years. The materiel available to the Marine Corps from the Stryker upgrade will result in an additional FOLAV lifecycle cost avoidance of $23.7 million through the platform’s end of service life in 2035.