A hull of the U.S. Army’s mysterious combat vehicle was spotted during shipping to Alaska, according to Nathan White.
“Like a tank/afv chassis with crash test stickers on it. We are shipping it to Alaska,” Jim Atkinson wrote in his Twitter account.
The hull of newest combat vehicle perhaps will be delivered to the United States Army Cold Regions Test Center, at Fort Greely, Alaska.
Another Twitter user wrote that this is one of two prototypes of aluminum armored-vehicle hulls, fabricated by Concurrent Technologies Corp. using its unique friction-stir welding capability.
In mid-September, 2017, Concurrent Technologies Corp. (CTC) has received a contract, “Friction Stir Welded Hull Manufacturing Prototype,” under which it collaborating with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Warren, Mich., to conduct fatigue, ballistic, and other qualification testing on welds. The period of performance runs from September 28, 2017 through September 27, 2022.
Earlier, CTC’s manager of advanced technologies PJ McMullen, said that the company has unique capabilities in fabricating lightweight vehicles with high survivability. One of those is a machine that’s capable of friction-stir-welding an entire vehicle hull.
“The machine offers 26 feet of longitudinal stir-head travel and can move 13 feet vertically,” he said. “It can weld high-strength 2000-series aluminum plate, up to 3¼-inches thick, in a single pass.”
Recent underbody blast tests of CTC’s two prototype hulls showed no blast intrusion—and no measured fatalities.
Also added that while friction stir welding has been determined to be the best method to join the lightweight, high-strength aluminum alloys on the HFBC hull prototype, the assessments performed under this contract will help determine what modifications need to be made to improve performance and manufacturability in support of the final Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) hull design.
The U.S. Army plans to replace Bradley Fighting Vehicle that is destined to be a part of history before long. In its place will be a member of the NGCV family, a work in progress at the top of the list for the Army’s high-priority, multipart combat vehicle modernization initiative.