The M915A5 is a 6×4 military line-haul tractor truck developed for the US Army by Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler. It is used to rapidly transport containerised and bulk supplies of transportation units from the ocean ports to the brigade support areas within the theatre of operation. It can carry a crew of two.
The military truck enables the movement and transportation of loads as well as relocation of unit equipment.
The newest M915A5 freightliner is an upgraded M915A3 military model with the addition of an armour block.
The A5 block was designed to replace the M915A1, A2 and A3 trucks and increase the fleet readiness in the line haul missions. The tractor trucks are deployed by the US Army, Army Reserve and National Guard units. The truck is designed to meet the battlefield requirements of the army in Afghanistan and Iraq.
M915A5 tractor truck development
The US Army completed the follow-on operational test and evaluation (FOT&E) of the M915A5 in September 2009. The live fire testing was conducted in December 2009. It demonstrated the M915A5 platform’s capability to provide crews with armour protection against various threats while maintaining mission capabilities. In May 2010, the test results showed the vehicle to be operationally suitable, effective, and survivable.
The vehicle underwent rigorous testing at the US Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) and exceeded the reliability and performance goals. The initiative to equip the medium and heavy tactical vehicles with scalable armour is part of the 2011 tactical wheeled vehicle strategy to have a fleet of 290,000 vehicles by 2025.
M915A5 orders and deliveries
In October 2009, the US Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) awarded $377m contract to Daimler for producing and supplying 1,780 units of the M915A5 6×4 trucks.
The first delivery was made to two US Army Reserve units in Michigan in September 2010. The 180th and 182nd Transportation Companies of the 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command received 60 M915A5 line-haul tractor trucks each. The army reserve received 710 M915A5 vehicles with an additional order of 350 vehicles for the active force.
Line-haul tractor design
The M915A5 block improved truck is similar in design to the M916A3 light equipment transporter (LET). It is designed expeditionary-ready with increased range, on-board diagnostics, reliability, safety, range, service intervals and manpower and personnel integration (MANPRINT) considerations.
The M915A5 series has larger interior cab space and an upgraded electrical system over the M915A3 tractor. The larger cab allows storage of ammunition, personal weapons and combat gear.
The vehicle is equipped with EMP Power 450 brushless alternator to give 450A at 28V DC. The electrical system supports the latest C4I packages and other onboard electrical systems. The line-haul tractor truck also takes considerably lesser time for repair and maintenance operations.
The vehicle features an enhanced suspension system and axle for handling the additional weight of the armour.
The M915A5 can tow M871 and M872 semitrailers. It can also be used to transport the M1062 7500, the M967 and M969 series 5,000gal tankers. It can be used to move the required cargo loads and relocate equipment’s of the unit.
The vehicle features situational awareness and increased survivability. The performance and structural improvements enhance the soldier comfort.
The M915A5 is upgraded with a fully integrated A-kit and modular B-kit armour packages. A-kit armour supports additional armour add-ons. It can be mounted with B-kit and additional armour as per the mission requirements.
The A-kit is a reinforced armoured cab and chassis upgrade providing ballistics firewall protection. It provides protection for humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. The B-kit includes an electrohydraulic door assist system (DAS) that wraps the cab and provides additional protection in combination with the A-kit. It will provide 360° protection to the crew in battlefield combat operations. The B-kit can be installed in the theatre in about eight hours.
In September 2009, BAE Systems Security and Survivability was awarded a $32m contract to develop and integrate A-kits and B-kits. In October 2010, BAE received another $7m contract to provide 380 A-kits to the truck. The company is also acting as a subcontractor to DTNA.
The M915A5 military tractor is powered by a Detroit Diesel S60 engine which generates a power of 500hp, 15% higher than that of M915A3. The engine is coupled to Allison 4500SP six-speed automatic transmission to produce 1,650lbft torque.
The diesel engine is also compatible with jet propellant-8 (JP-8) hydrocarbon fuels. It is installed with self-cleaning Donaldson pulse jet air cleaner (PJAC) ultra-air intake system.