The Army has a history of being at the leading
edge of warfighting technological innovation. That tradition
is continuing with the development by the Product Manager,
Petroleum and Water Systems (PM PAWS), in Warren, Michigan,
of the Modular Fuel System (MFS), formerly known as the Load
Handling System Modular Fuel Farm. The MFS will dramatically
alter the way the Army distributes bulk and retail fuel. The
MFS consists of two 600-gallon-per-minute pump racks and fourteen
2,500-gallon tank racks for a total capacity of 35,000 gallons.
This system is destined to become the cornerstone of class
III (petroleum, oils, and lubricants) support for the Army’s
Future Combat Systems, modular brigades, and Stryker brigade
combat teams. The Army does not have a legacy system that can
compare to the MFS’s increased mobility, capability,
compatibility, maintainability, sustainability,
ISO Tank Rack Design
The Army’s decision to use a separate International Organization
for Standardization (ISO) tank rack and pump rack configuration
established the foundation for the flexible MFS. A surprisingly
large amount of equipment was incorporated into the two racks
as standard equipment, so a separate vehicle no longer will
be required to follow the tanker to carry essential equipment.
The standard equipment setup includes 3,300 feet of hose and
the full compliment of nozzles needed to support multiple retail,
bulk, and aviation distribution points. The system can support
two refuel-on-the-move configurations for a total of 16 distribution
points. A full range of nozzles are provided with the MFS,
including the D–1, 1 inch, 1.5 inch, closed-circuit refueling,
and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The MFS is compatible
with all military fuel mixtures, and an additive fuel injector
can be installed.
Redundancy is critical in today’s fast-paced
battlefield environment. The MFS achieves redundancy by using
ISO-certified, self-contained tank and pump racks. Built-in
test equipment with manual override and bypass tubing also
has been installed for all critical functions. The independence
of each pump or tank rack provides the needed redundancy and
ensures that a failure in any single component will not compromise
system is being used to
transport a Modular Fuel System.
Safety and Environmental Features
Safety and environmental concerns were addressed early in the development of
the system, ensuring that exceptional safety standards were set. For example,
the common “dead man” switch on the fuel manager control panel is
backed up by multiple emergency
shut-off switches, and the remote-controlled tank valves are backed up by manual
safety shut-off valves. In addition, a new Fuel Tank Sealant System (FTSS) is
being considered for incorporation into the system. The FTSS would provide secondary
containment without adding significant weight to the MFS’s streamlined
The MFS not only will be the usual Army green, but it also will be environmentally “green.” The
primary contractor has incorporated a new standard for environmental excellence
into the overall system design. One example of this concerted effort is the replacement
of industry-standard cadmium connectors with more environmentally friendly stainless
steel connectors. This change will reduce future demilitarization costs significantly.
The contractor worked closely with PM PAWS in a team effort to create a truly “green” machine.
Low rate initial production of MFS resulted in
the delivery of developmental testing assets in November 2005.
These assets are being subjected to rigorous, ongoing testing
that will determine their ability to meet the high standards
required to achieve a 25-year design life. Once the testing
is complete and all military specifications are met, the Army
will be ready to field the MFS.
Major Leon O. Williams is the Assistant Product Manager
for the Modular Fuel System in the Office of the Program Manager
for Petroleum and Water Systems, Program Executive Office for
Combat Support and Combat Service Support, Tank-automotive
and Armaments command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command,
in Warren, Michigan. He is a graduate of the Auburn University
Arthur Jankowski is a weapon systems manager in the Petroleum
and Water Systems Division of the Integrated Logistics Support
Center, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, in Warren Michigan.
He holds a B.A. degree in marketing from the University of
Michigan and an M.A. degree in business management from Central