The New Zealand Army is moving forward to replace its current fleets of tactical utility vehicles. The acquisition is the last of Tranche One in the Army’s Protected Capability Mobility Project (PMCP).
The Request for Proposal (RFP) released earlier in November 2022 calls for a Utility Vehicle – Light (UV-L) of less than six tonnes and a Utility Vehicle-Medium (UV-M) above six-tonnes. These will replace the entire operational inventory of Unimog and Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicles. The resulting contract(s) will require delivery of 143 UV-L and 334 UV-Ms. Current, armoured Pinzgauer’s are already being replace by the Australian Bushmaster NZ5 from Thales.
Within the classes six mission variants are planned. For the UV-L these will include a general service and command/liaison. The UV-M will provide general service, command and control, maintenance support, and medevac versions. The tender states that Lockheed Martin New Zealand and L3 Harris Australia have been identified to provide systems integration and will be the logistics managers for the program.
Potential candidate vehicles are required to be proven, in service systems. They maybe either military or commercial designs but must be off-the-shelf (MOTS/COTS). A discriminating factor is that any vehicle proposed must be currently in use with another customer and have at least 1,000 vehicles in service. Commonality between the UV-L and UV-M is sought to ease maintenance, logistics, training and operational support. The concept of both classes being derived from a family of vehicles was encouraged.
A key requirement is assuring the strategic deployablity of both vehicle classes. C-130J-30 (NZ) air transport of two of each type or combination is required. In addition, the vehicles must be able to embark and debark from the HMNZS Canterbury, as well as commercial roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) ferries and, ideally, coalition amphibious vessels.
Proposals are due by March 2023 with a series of industry briefings to be scheduled prior. To date no industry team has yet announced its intent to bid this tender. However, it has been reported that Supa-Cat has shown interest. In addition, IVECO Defence (which has a line of proven candidates), Rheinmetall (which is supply Australia’s medium and heavy tactical fleets), Toyota (with a strong regional commercial presence), and potentially US industry military suppliers AM General, GM Défense, and Oshkosh could find the program of interest.
by Stephen W. Miller