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Durability Improvement of Lightweight Track and Suspension Components for…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
GS Engineering Inc.
47500 U.S. Hwy 41 Houghton, MI 49931-9061
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: Yes
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Durability Improvement of Lightweight Track and Suspension Components for Armored Vehicles
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: M67854-03-C-0040
Award Amount: $600,000.00


The Marine Corps AAAV is a quantum leap forward in sea and beachhead mobility over the current AAV A2. This is derived by its 25 knot performance in water combined with a 45 MPH land speed. To achieve this performance, weight is a critical factor for thevehicle, but operation and maintenance costs are also critical. Therefore, this Phase II proposal will refine the road wheel concepts generated in Phase I. Both road wheel designs will have a lower initial cost and a slight weight reduction as compared tothe production road wheels. As the wear rings will be improved, the field endurance life of the wheel will be increased. Finally, the wheel will be refurbishable at a depot as the wear ring can be replaced. This will further reduce the O&S costs of thesystem. Additional research will be conducted on lightweight wear rings for further weight reduction in the future. A vehicle set of two road wheel designs will be manufactured and field tested on an AAAV. Thus, this Phase II program will bring thepreliminary designs through laboratory testing and finally, full vehicle testing to demonstrate the design and technology The application of lightweight robust road wheels has many implications beyond the AAAV which it is specifically designed for. Theprimary advantages to General Dynamics Amphibious System's AAAV is a lower initial cost, a longer endurance life, the ability to refurbish the wheel, and also a slightly lower weight as compared to the current production road wheel. The hollow shelldesign also carries greater lateral load than traditional dished or I-Beam designs. With these attributes, GDAS will develop a Level III TDP for the road wheel to allow limited production quantities to be purchased, pending success of the initial fieldtests.These lightweight road wheels are of high interest to the FCS manned ground vehicle variant if it is determined to be a tracked vehicle.Transition of the lightweight hollow shell wheel design to weight sensitive wheeled commercial vehicles including timber harvesting and horizontal boring equipment in wet or soft soil conditions would be a logical extension of the technology. Marketing ofthis area would initiate after the technology was proven by production in the military market.

Principal Investigator:

Glen Simula

Business Contact:

Glen Simula
Small Business Information at Submission:

101 West Lakehsore Drive Houghton, MI 49931

EIN/Tax ID: 383611785
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No