Army ExLF program will add autonomous tech to resupply convoys


DALLAS. Officials at the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) selected Lockheed Martin for the Integrated Systems Developer for its Expedient Leader Follower (ExLF) program.

Under the program, Lockheed Martin will lead a three-year effort to develop, integrate, and test unmanned prototype systems for supporting leader/follower convoy activities within an asymmetric threat environment. Soldiers will conduct operational technology demonstrations using the prototypes developed in the ExLF program to establish operating procedures and shape future programs of record.

Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires & Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, says "Our goal as the Integrated Systems Developer is to help coordinate a number of systems and vendors in achieving mature, reliable autonomous convoys to support our warfighters in complex environments."

The program was created in response to soldiers conducting resupply convoys within an asymmetric threat environment compounded by long sustainment missions, adverse weather/environment and night operations. These conditions adversely impact operator safety, degrade driver/operator situational awareness and reduce resupply efficiency.

"The Expedient Leader Follower effort will equip a number of existing military ground vehicles with scalable robotic technology through the integration of modular kits, common interfaces and an open architecture to increase operator safety, improve situational awareness and increase resupply efficiency," Campbell adds.