Ford Super Tough Concept Truck is Tough Enough for U.S. Military
Ford Motor Company has developed the ultimate "Built Ford Tough" F-Series Super Duty pickup truck as a demonstration vehicle for the U.S. Army. It was unveiled at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 2000 World Conference at Detroit's Cobo Center.
Ford's concept truck - based on the F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab - is structurally modified and equipped with advanced drivetrain, suspension, electrical and electronic components, and recently passed comprehensive desert field trials. The project continues the company's long history of supplying government vehicles and gives Ford an opportunity to evaluate new technologies.
The super tough Super Duty was developed under the U.S. Army's COMBATT (COMmercially BAsed Tactical Truck) program. The Army is working with Ford and other U.S. vehicle manufacturers to explore the use of modified commercial trucks for carrying troops and cargo. The trucks would augment and replace aging vehicles, as the Army also looks to reduce development, production and operating costs.
"We are pleased that our powerful F-Series pickup is part of the Army's program to develop a new vehicle to transport our troops and their gear," says Gurminder Bedi, vice president, Ford North American Truck. "Ford has a long, proud history of supplying vehicles to the U.S. military and other branches of government. In addition, this program allows us to explore technologies that we may be able to adapt to our regular production trucks."
The F-350 Super Duty COMBATT demonstration vehicle has been structurally modified to handle gross vehicle weights of 12,700 pounds. The truck has enhanced axle differentials, upgraded suspension, electronically controlled high performance shock absorbers, supplemental air springs, a central tire inflation system and 37-inch tires with a run-flat system. The vehicle's ride height, tire pressure and firmness automatically adjust to the challenging driving conditions a military vehicle encounters. The truck has protective shielding on the underside as a safeguard in rough terrain.
The demonstration truck has a powerful onboard computer with an advanced global positioning satellite navigation system, night vision system, collision warning system, and an upgraded electrical system providing 12-volt, 24-volt and 110-volt AC power.
A special winch kit has been developed that can be easily mounted on the front or the rear of the vehicle, and can be quickly changed as needed. Ford's truck also has a covered pickup box and seats for carrying troops.