New military Smart Truck

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New military Smart Truck

The U.S. Army unveiled a potential new weapon in the war on terrorism Tuesday, the Smart Truck II.

The truck, designed to serve a variety of defense and emergency first-responder roles, was presented during a briefing at the North American International Auto Show.

"Would this have been built had the events of Sept. 11 not happened? Probably not," said Maj. Gen. N. Ross Thompson, commander of the Army's Tank- automotive and Armaments Command in Warren. "Today's world situation has made us more aggressive in a number of ways, particularly in our efforts to get technology out into the field much faster."

The designer of the Smart Truck II, Bran Ferren, said designing the vehicle was a 10-week process. Thompson said the final elements of the prototype vehicle were assembled Sunday.

Neither the Army nor any other government agency has contracted to purchase the Smart Truck II.

"I think one thing in its favor is that the basic truck is less than $100,000, and then you pay for the mission modules you need," Thompson said.

Ferren said if a production run is ordered, production could start in just a few months.

The Smart Truck II is based on a Chevrolet Silverado, with an added axle and 6x6 driving power. The model shown at the auto show featured a "fire-and-forget" missile launcher, a variety of communications interception and jamming equipment, and a mapping system that can be used in conjunction with calling in air or artillery strikes.

Germaine Fuller, the project manager of the Smart Truck II, said what makes the vehicle unique is that it is not one vehicle, but a vehicle system. Various modules of the truck could be swapped out -- in an hour or less -- and transform the vehicle into a heavy-duty ambulance or rescue truck, or allow the truck to be used to detect the presence of chemical or biological weapons. It can also be equipped with a remote-controlled aircraft that could perform reconnaissance over a several-mile area.

Thompson said while the vehicle could have some overseas applications, it was designed with homeland security and terrorism response duties in mind, and could have uses in police or fire departments.

"The Army has learned a lot in the aftermath of Sept. 11, and we are exploring new ways to respond," he said.

The Army unveiled its original Smart Truck about 18 months ago. Thompson called that version more of a "gee-whiz, James Bond-ish kind of vehicle. This is something that could definitely be put into use."
By netchicken: posted on 12-1-2003

Next generation, #3

The army has revealed its newest fighting vehicle, the Smart Truck III.

This vehicle is the latest addition to be added to the armys inventory. The new vehicle not only looks menacing, it has features James Bond would love to have.

The Army is preparing to unveil a new concept truck—smarTruck—that is touted as having "James Bond-like" capabilities.
The light tactical vehicle, a production model Ford F-350, is designed to provide the Army with an electronic platform to test, integrate and showcase cutting-edge technologies entering the market from the automotive industry.

The initiative allows the Army to insert the latest wireless communication, situational awareness and soldier safety technologies into its tactical wheeled vehicles. The objective is to demonstrate these technologies through the integration of commercially available intelligent subsystems using a standard data link.

The truck is capable of disorienting the enemy with its headlights, fending off attackers with electrified door handles, and emitting smoke screens to obscure a pursuer's line of vision, among other things.

Reuters is also reporting that the vehicle has a remote controlled .50 caliber machine gun that rises from the back of the vehicle. The .50 caliber weapon also has “sniper-detection directional sound capabilities.”

Anyone confronting this vehicle would be surprised to see the remote gun pop out of the top and take aim in their direction.
By netchicken: posted on 10-3-2004

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