US Army Introduces Advanced M870A4 SLCET to Boost Construction Equipment Transport

The U.S. Army has taken a significant step forward in modernizing its transportation capabilities. On October 3, 2023, the U.S. Army announced that the 569th Combat Engineer Company-Armored, 4th Engineer Battalion, has become the first unit to be equipped with the state-of-the-art M870A4 Semitrailer, Lowbed, Construction Equipment Transporters (SCLETs). These transporters are designed to carry an impressive load of up to 40 tons, encompassing construction equipment and other substantial payloads.
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U.S. soldiers with the 569th Combat Engineer Company-Armored, 4th Engineer Battalion, received operator, field level maintenance, and new equipment training September 13, 2023, on the M870A4 Semitrailer, Lowbed, Construction Equipment Transporter from the Product Manager Heavy Tactical Vehicles(Picture source U.S. DoD)

The introduction of the M870A4 SLCET is expected to play a pivotal role in the U.S. Army's operations. Not only will it provide transport for lower-tier air and missile sensor large tactical power systems, but with certain modifications, it can also transport long-range hypersonic weapons. Furthermore, the M870A4 SLCET will be instrumental in the immediate reconstruction of critical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, tunnels, and airfields, enhancing the Army's ability to maintain road, rail, and air transport during combat operations.

The equipment was officially issued by the Product Manager Heavy Tactical Vehicles (PdM HTV) on September 13, 2023. Following the issuance, soldiers underwent comprehensive training, covering operator skills, field-level maintenance, and new equipment handling. The training sessions were met with enthusiasm from the soldiers, who were eager to familiarize themselves with the latest equipment and gain hands-on experience from experts in the field.

This initiative marks the beginning of the Army's plan to phase out the older M870 fleet. The transition to the M870A4 SLCET is anticipated to enhance readiness and bolster the unit's capability to engage in large-scale combat operations.

The procurement of this advanced equipment was overseen by the Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS & CSS). This office, located at the historic Detroit Arsenal in southeast Michigan, is responsible for approximately 20% of all Army equipment programs. Their portfolio spans various sectors, including engineering, ordnance, quartermaster, and transportation.

The U.S. Army's commitment to modernization and readiness is evident in its swift adoption of the M870A4 SLCET. With this new addition, the Army is better positioned to address the dynamic challenges of the modern battlefield.

Defense News October 2023