Power and Mobility (P&M)

Improving Winter Traction for Vehicles in Northern Operations

by Sally Shoop; Clifford Witte; Sebastian Karwaczynski; Clifton Ellis; Eoghan Matthews; Steven Bishel; Barry Bomier; Ronald McCullough; Michael Parker; Scott Martin7; Orian Welling; Bruce Elder


As part of the campaign to increase readiness in northern regions, a near commercialoff- the-shelf (COTS) solution was identified for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV); and used to assess the suitability of commercially available winter tires for operational deployment. Initial performance evaluations conducted during the winters of 2020 and 2021 demonstrated and quantified significant improvements to traction and handling on a variety of winter surfaces. User feedback from United States Army Alaska (USARAK) Soldiers confirmed these results in an operational environment. Results of this study provide new winter tire specifications for the Army and justify the procurement of a HMMWV winter tire for improved safety and capability for US Soldier and vehicle fleet needs. The data and Soldier evaluations support attaining a National Stock Number (NSN) and provide data to develop models of winter vehicle performance that include the impact of winter tires and chains. This work also paves the way for future development and procurement of winter tires for vehicles where COTS solutions are unavailable. The motivation is to provide Soldiers with state-of-the-art winter tires to increase safety, capability, and operational compatibility with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners in the European Theater of Operations, and mobility superiority in all environments.