FN Herstal

Guardian Angel Air-Deployable Rescue Vehicle Pre-Solicitation Released (Again)

About once a year, for the past few years the Air Force’s Battlefield Airman Branch of the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson AFB releases a new requirement for a battlefield truck for their Guardian Angel Weapon System. GAWS is made up of the Combat Rescue Officer (CRO), Pararescue (PJ), and SERE careerfields. Obviously, the vehicle would mainly be used by the PJs. Unfortunately, they’ve never actually purchased any vehicles. In fact, we’ve even written about one of the candidate vehicles from past attempts; the SRTV.

This year is no different and a pre-solicitation for the Guardian Angel Air-Deployable Rescue Vehicle (GAARV) was released last week. They’ve included a System Requirements Document (SRD) that spells out the vehicle characteristics they are looking for. According to this document, PJs currently rely on ATVs to aid in the recovery of Isolated Personnel who may be injured. Unfortunately, these have limited speed, agility, range and payload.

The proposed GAARV will be airdroppable from fixed wing aircraft and be able to carry medical, rescue, and survival equipment to an incident site and be able to exfiltrate the rescue team and isolated personnel over adverse terrain. It is envisioned that these same capabilities will make it a shoe in for use in disaster recovery and other humanitarian relief operations.

Specifically they want a vehicle that can be airdropped, features a comms and datalink package, integrates M240 and M249 for defense, capable of on and off-road operation and a minimum payload of 4000 lbs. It must also have mounts compatible with Stokes, Talon, Israeli, and NATO Pole litters. Obviously, as a rescue vehicle, it’s going to need external power outlets, an air compressor and a winch. Additionally, it must be able to travel 350 miles at 45 mph and then loiter for 2 hours once on the objective. Interestingly, there’s no mention of exfil meaning it’s got a 175 mile range.

There are also a couple of other “interesting” requirements such as:
“The GAARV shall be steerable and stoppable by at least one RT member other than the driver”
“The GAARV engine shall run using standard gasoline, 87 Octane or higher, diesel, or JP-8″
“The GAARV fuel tank shall not require a purge prior to adding a different type of fuel than is already in use”

Something you may feel is missing is an armor requirement. They haven’t quite worked out those requirements yet and understandably so. I used to be in the armored vehicle business and armor is anathema to the offroad agility capabilities required by GAWS.

Interested parties have until March 6 to tell the Air Force about their capabilities. Unfortunately, that leaves little time for the Air Force to integrate any ground breaking capabilities discovered in this pre-solicitation into their actual solicitation planned for release on 16 March.

The Air Force has done a lot to upgrade other rescue capabilities, hopefully this year, we’ll see them buy a new truck.

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2 Responses to “Guardian Angel Air-Deployable Rescue Vehicle Pre-Solicitation Released (Again)”

  1. MarkM says:

    Basically, a two ton truck, with multiple fuel tanks, and Driver Ed duplicate controls.

    The overall concept is so much bigger and complex, it leaves them stuck with the ATV’s anyway. Wake up, whiz kids, your’re asking too much. Repeatedly. And making no headway against the real difficulty, the industry isn’t enticed enough to bother.

    It should be more than obvious that they really don’t want it after all. If it was a real need, then they’d simply use what the rest of the world uses, a small 1/2 ton 4WD Japanese pickup truck with 4 cylinder diesel. It would look normal wherever it was seen.

  2. 96C says:

    Hopefully they’re watching King Of The Hammers….. If they’re looking for the worlds toughest tube buggies for that kind of terrain, that’s where I’d be headed first.