Army is looking at using modified commercial trucks as well as some rather "Innovative Acquisition and Ownership" strategies under its COMmercially BAsed Tactical Truck (COMBATT) program.
Finally, because of their intended later civilian use, the COMBATT program calls for these vehicles to meet all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and EPA emission standards.
"They felt that maybe we were going too far with Combatt, which was intended to match the performance of the Humvee," Almand said in an interview.
By comparison, Combatt cost crept to 560,000, and the last Humvee NAC bought was $63,000, said Almand.
Daimler Chrysler's COMBATT C-11 hybrid-electric truck gets about 15 percent better fuel efficiency than a conventional Dodge Ram 2500, the company says.
While the Army has no requirement for a COMBATT or SORV as of yet, the service and other government agencies may find such vehicles on the GSA schedules attractive for administrative or non-tactical roles.
The Combatt program--spearheaded by the NAG--is a partnership with General Motors, Daimler Chrysler and Ford, to upgrade commercial pickup trucks and SUVs so they can be suitable for military use.
With funds from the Combatt program, Daimler Chrysler produced a diesel-electric hybrid Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck.
The Combatt and the Smart Truck programs are "brother and sister," said Fuller.
Unlike Smart Truck, the Combatt is more focused on vehicle mobility, ruggedness for off-road operation and the use of hybrid-electric propulsion systems, for higher fuel efficiency.
Ford's Combatt platform is an F350 4x4 four-door crew cab pick-up truck.
General Motors Corp., which had been a participant in Combatt earlier on, withdrew its Silverado truck from the program, but recently came back after signing an agreement with NAC.