Ford Super Tough Concept Truck
is Tough Enough for U.S. Military
DEARBORN, Mich., March 6, 2000 - 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 is being unveiled
today 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
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
During comprehensive desert durability and performance evaluations,
the Ford COMBATT truck met or exceeded the ratings of existing Army
vehicles while carrying greater payloads. The demonstration truck
is designed to meet the Army's requirements of being able to ford
30-inch-deep water and operate in temperatures from 50 degrees below
zero to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ford is also working with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop
lightweight, fuel efficient, corrosion-resistant trucks for
commercial and military use. The IMPACT (Improved Materials and
Powertrain Architectures for 21st Century Trucks) program focuses on
the use of high-strength steel, laser-welded blanks and improved
bonding to reduce the weight of the Ford F-150. The DOD plans
additional funding to develop lightweight F-250 and F-350 pickup
Ford supplies gas-powered and alternative fuel cars and trucks to
the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Park Service, the General Services
Administration, state governments and police agencies nationwide.
Ford has also supplied trooper carriers, tanks, planes and other
equipment to support the U.S. during times of war. Ford F-Series
has been the top-selling pickup for 23 years and the best-selling
vehicle in the U.S. for 18 years.