a. The military is currently evaluating, assessing, and upgrading tactical vehicles to meet ever-changing threats and theaters of operation. However, the hand tools assigned to these vehicles and to the Warfighter have not kept pace. The Warfighter is still required to use outdated, suboptimal, and, in some cases, unsafe technologies for handheld tools when in the field. These hand tools are segmented into three functional tasks: digging (e.g., shovels, picks), striking (e.g., axes, sledges), and leverage tools (e.g., lug busters, pry bars), each with further functionality from short and long handles. Due to space and weight considerations, it is not possible for the Warfighter or the vehicles to carry a suite of hand tools suitable for multiple contingencies.
b. The Warfighter is continually assigned multiple objectives requiring different functional tools. Essential material in the field is the most valuable asset to the Warfighter, and, therefore, available space is the ultimate limiting quantity. Unfortunately, there is currently a large trade-off between the effectiveness of the Warfighter's hand tools and the available space. The available space in transport—whether carried by the Warfighter or various types of vehicles—limits the quantity and/or quality of tools available to the Warfighter to accomplish the ever-changing objectives. Therefore, design improvements to hand tools that achieve cost-effective cross-functionality can utilize available space more efficiently.
c. The constraint of space is further complicated by the multiple tactical scenarios demanded of the Warfighter. This complication means that multiple tool heads are required in order to address different functions. However, these different hand tools require handles which are either similar or identical, resulting in valuable space being occupied for the same or similar products and costs that are pointlessly duplicated. The Warfighter in squad maneuvers may have different needs than a Special Forces Warfighter team. The required hand tool configuration of an LTATV may differ from a JLTV which will differ from heavy trucks; and individual Warfighter E-tools will differ from vehicle recovery tools; yet there are many cross-functional similarities that need to be taken advantage of.
d. To date, the military has employed modular tool systems on a very limited basis due to the numerous shortcomings and limitations with regard to safety, functionality, price, and durability. To learn more about the solution for this problem, click the button below.