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US Army re-examines Common Tactical Truck prototyping competition

The US Army still intends to purchase a new Common Tactical Truck (CTT) fleet, but it is re-examining the parameters for its prototyping competition, according to the service's Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Doug Bush.

Companies interested in competing for the USD5.1 billion CTT contract were notified on 10 February that the army was indefinitely delaying the release of a draft request for prototype proposals. Rae Higgins, a spokesperson with the army's Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support, told Janes on 14 February that this move is attributed, in part, to the “funding prioritisation discussion”.

During a 17 February media roundtable, Bush provided additional context and called this a “minor pause” while the army internally discusses competition plans.

“The prototyping effort for that particular release…is going to continue,” he said. While broadly discussing army prototyping efforts, Bush said that the army needs to refine its approach to make sure the requirements, acquisition, and “others”, are included in the discussion process earlier.

“You can't answer all the questions up front. Sometimes you just don't know how much something is going to cost until you do some experimentation and prototyping, and that's a good thing,” he said at the roundtable.

Some examples of areas that need to be addressed more thoroughly include how long a prototyping effort should last, how “big in scale” the competition should be, better defining the transition process into production, and making sure the acquisition process aligns with the army's “overall priority” efforts, said Bush.

“Not prototyping for prototyping sake, but prototyping with a purpose, which I think is what we're doing,” he added.

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