Production Model of Squad Airdrop Infantry Vehicles Tested for Long Term Ruggedness – Fort Hood Press Center
By Mr. Blake Bagby, Military Test Plans Analyst, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina – Airborne equipment testers here work with aerospace engineers on modifying drop rig techniques due to structural and mechanical changes brought about by the manufacture of the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).
“Testing focused on determining if ISVs in Production Representative Mode (PRM) could tolerate the forces experienced during Low Velocity Airdrop (LVAD) operations,” said Lt. Col. Derek Johnson, chief of the Test Division at the Airborne Test and Special Operations Directorate (ABNSOTD). ).
The ISV is a new concept allowing Army Infantry Brigade Combat Team soldiers to cover large areas of difficult terrain faster and less fatigued by reducing the area usually covered on foot.
Infantrymen would also be able to carry enough personal and squad supplies to sustain themselves for several days, and the ISV is also carried easily by air on Air Assault and Airborne Assault missions. .
The U.S. Army Combat Capability Development Command’s Soldier Center in Natick, Mass., assisted ABNSOTD in modifying ISV rigging procedures and cardboard honeycomb kit to accommodate modifications made to the representative production model of the ISV by General Motors Defense.
“This capability is required across the full spectrum of military operations faced by infantry brigade combat teams conducting selected crisis response, initial entry and decisive action missions,” said James Cochran ( JC), a seasoned analyst of military test plans within ABNSOTD.
Johnson said the changes were deemed necessary after a previous version of the ISV encountered hardware issues during development testing when it was discovered that some vehicle components were not robust enough for service. long term vehicle.
Testing began with an exercise in mounting two PRM ISVs on a standard V-type Low Speed Airdrop Operations (LVAD) platform and a dual-row drop system platform.
After the rigging solutions and cardboard honeycomb modifications were incorporated into the rigging procedures, both vehicles underwent a Simulated Drop Impact Test (SAIT).
The two ISV PRMs mounted on drop platforms were lifted by a crane and released freely to simulate the impact velocity experienced during LVAD operations.
“During the execution of the SAITs, high-speed video, photography and instrumentation (accelerometers and impact data recorders) were used to assess the response of the PRM ISV to the forces experienced during LVAD operations,” said said Michael Estremera, electronics engineer at ABNSOTD.
After the SAIT, both vehicles were thoroughly inspected by ABNSOTD, General Motors Defense and the ISV program office to see if either ISV had sustained any damage from the forces experienced in the simulated drop.
The tests concluded with a 50 kilometer test drive, with ABNSOTD personnel operating the PRM ISVs on improved, semi-improved and unimproved roads as well as off-road routes at varying speeds.
After the test drives, personnel from ABNSOTD, General Motors Defense and the ISV Program Office thoroughly inspected both vehicles to assess any damage the vehicles may have sustained.
These follow-up tests generated data on an ISV PRM’s ability to withstand the forces experienced during LVAD operations and remain fully mission capable.
“Driving the ISV is a great experience from a driver’s perspective,” said Staff Sergeant Clinton Martinez, an ABNSOTD paratrooper rigger. “It rides smoothly over all types of terrain and the visibility is exceptional.”
“The ISV’s speed and maneuverability, as well as its ability to easily negotiate all types of terrain should give confidence to infantrymen who will use this vehicle in the real world and during training operations,” said Sgt. . 1st Class Marcus Love, an infantryman assigned to ABNSOTD.
The ISV is deployable worldwide by sea, air and land to support strategic deployment and operational maneuver in accordance with Army and Joint doctrine.
About the U.S. Army Operational Test Command:
The US Army’s Operational Test Command is based at West Fort Hood, Texas, and its mission ensures that systems developed are effective in the hands of soldiers and suitable for the environments in which they train and fight. Test unit soldiers provide feedback by offering feedback to improve existing and future systems that soldiers will ultimately use to train and fight.
The Airborne Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD), based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, plans, executes, and reports operational testing and field experiments of airborne delivery and transportation equipment and procedures airborne for special operations and airborne forces to provide key operational data for the continued development of doctrine and the fielding of Warfighter equipment.