Pratt & Miller Engineering Capabilities Sheet


Pratt & Miller Engineering
29600 W. K. Smith Drive
New Hudson, MI 48165

A Michigan Small Business
DUNS: 618628762
Cage Code: 4GWK4
Business POC
Sara Blackmer
Director, Government Markets
(248) 278-5307
Pratt & Miller Engineering SeaPort-e Capability Areas: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.14

Racing to Design and Build Winning Ground Vehicle Solutions
Pratt & Miller Engineering (PME) applies its proven motorsports-derived lean product development process to all its ground vehicle development efforts, consistently enabling the company to successfully execute vehicle design and development projects in the motorsports, automotive, and defense industries. PME's capabilities include clean sheet design to full vehicle prototype builds and all of the stages in between, including advanced product engineering, vehicle dynamics, software development, and low volume manufacturing.


• Suspension                                                                       
• Chassis
• Mobility Analysis
• Lightweight Systems
• Body Systems
• Interior Systems
• Blast Analysis
• Occupant Protection
• Survivability Systems Engineering
• Electronics
• Autonomous Systems Engineering
• Hybrid/Electric Systems
• Powertrain Integration
• Thermal Systems
• Concept Creation and Development
• Trade Studies
• Requirements Management


Pratt & Miller Engineering (PME) has participated in a variety of defense programs, performing in a spectrum of capacities. Whether PME is leading the program, performing as a subcontractor, or simply supplying design, R&D, or testing services, our history of experience illustrates the superior level of technical ability and advanced engineering services achieved on each project that enters our facility.


Demonstrator for Novel Design (DFND):

Pratt & Miller was contracted to develop innovative medium combat vehicle concepts for the Demonstrator for Novel Design (DFND) program. The objective of the DFND program was to identify novel medium combat vehicle concepts aimed at maximizing force protection, vehicle mobility, and vehicle survivability on a compressed timeline. The weight range was set at 40,000-60,000 lbs. to be carried on 8 wheels. The requirements were identified as a sub-set of the Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) draft requirements. The force protection requirements consisted of minimizing acceleration into the vehicle from an underbelly blast. The mobility requirements were made up of acceleration, grade climbing, handling, ride, and obstacle events. The concepts were designed to accommodate a 3 man crew and 10 dismounts in a vehicle capable of swimming. Other requirements were used to make package space and weight claims during the concept development. Threshold and objective requirements were established and confirmed with the MPC Program Office Team and TARDEC subject matter experts (SMEs).

Through benchmarking, brainstorming, systems engineering, and extensive use of modeling and simulation, the DFND team generated multiple concepts and objective data characterizing the performance of these concepts. Using a holistic vehicle trade study, the performance of the concepts was compared to identify the best balance of the competing parameters such as mobility and force protection. In addition to the use of a motorsports organization structure, product development process, and trade study format, motorsports tools and technologies were applied to several component and system concepts. Motorsports influenced concepts included seating systems, power pack packaging, suspension commonality, swim system drive, and ease of service considerations. Since one of the objectives of the program was to develop novel concepts, innovation was included as a primary trade study category. Some of the innovative concepts utilized were:
• Dual engines
• Application of mass production light truck engine
• Autonomy enabled platform
• Water steering system
• Hydraulic steering
• Brakes outboard of wheel
• Floating suspension actuator
• Catenary hull shape
• Dual a-arm, wall mounted, blast attenuating seat
• Fully isolated, blast attenuating floor system
• Morphing suspension that increases track width
• Steerable, dual leading/trailing arm suspension design
• Electric drive system with hub motors at each wheel
• Silent mobility
• Clean hull bottom

Ground Mobility Vehicle - 1.1:

PME was contracted by Northrop Grumman as the lead vehicle design and manufacturing integrator for the USSOCOM GMV1.1 solicitation as this was the defense prime contractors first entry into the tactical ground vehicle market. Northrop Grumman’s capture strategy was to design and build a never before seen vehicle that could meet the demanding requirements of the GMV program. Northrop Grumman’s first and most prevalent obstacle was that bid sample prototypes were due to the government within 14 weeks. To accomplish their objectives, Northrop Grumman selected PME as the lead design and prototype integrator based on our past performance in delivering high-value innovation and high performance vehicles within compressed timeframes.

PME kicked-off the program by employing the use of advanced vehicle dynamics simulation tools, primarily ADAMS (Automated Dynamic Analysis of Mechanical Systems) technology, which played a key role in the accelerated schedule. This technology made it possible to evaluate and optimize the performance of critical vehicle subsystems long before prototypes and even detailed CAD models of the vehicle were available. To further accelerate the development process, our modeling and simulation team utilized HEEDS (Hierarchical Evolutionary Engineering Design System) optimization technology to set up a series of ADAMS analyses that automatically simulated spring, damper and anti-roll bar combinations through a range of sizes and properties. By using HEEDS to automate the optimization process, we accomplished in a weekend what would have taken months by hand.

From there PME utilized structural analysis and optimization technologies, primarily Radioss technology, which allowed PME engineers to evaluate the vehicle architectures and system configuration that would meet the programs aggressive weight, mobility, safety, and durability requirements. PME would not have time to develop the vehicle systems through multiple prototype configurations but rather would have a single opportunity to design an optimized system to build the single bid sample vehicle for government evaluation. Through robust use of Radioss, PME engineers were able to very quickly design chassis, suspension, and drivetrain solutions that met the complex requirements.

PME’s expert use of digital design technologies allowed for Northrop Grumman to submit a modern-day, high performing vehicle that met, and in some areas exceeded, the program requirements 12 weeks later. The unexpected delivery surprised many in the defense industry and the feedback from SOCOM warfighter user juries was extremely positive. PME provided Northrop Grumman with a tangible business asset that has since introduced the company as being notable prime contractor in the military ground vehicle market.

Occupant Centric Platform-Technology Enabled Capability Demonstration:

Below is the sole source notification as issued by RDECOM via Federal Biz Opps (FBO)

The U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren Michigan will be issuing a sole source letter Request for Proposal (RFP) To Pratt & Miller Engineering for the design, and build of two (2) demonstration test assets and five (5) additional sub-system test assets for blast testing evaluation. None of the test assets are required to drive or be production ready. An overall system Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 5 is desired. The government is interested in achieving increased occupant survivability (above legacy platform performance) for a blast, crash, and/or roll event, while reducing weight and providing increased mobility performance. Desired outcomes may include: reduced impulse into the test asset that translates to reduced occupant injuries, optimal hull shaping for blast mitigation, design and integration of the optimal hull shape with a high performance suspension and power train, advanced blast modeling and simulation pre-test predictions, and the design and integration of innovative energy absorbing and occupant protection technologies and strategies into the test assets. Each task to be performed will be work directive driven. This will be acquired by a cost-plus fixed-fee level of effort contract. The period of Performance for this effort shall be three (3) years. It is anticipated that the base award will be for approximately 52,400 man-hours and the option will consist of approximately 205,000 man-hours.

Test assets are required to be at the test site (Aberdeen Test Center (ATC)) no later than 15 February 2015 and will be tested to a set of enhanced blast, crash, and roll injury requirements. The test assets will also be tested for occupant centric design capability to accommodate the mission needs, comfort, and overall accommodation of the central 90% of the army population. Occupant accommodation requirements will be assessed in a limited user evaluation. The intent of this action is to demonstrate improved force protection survivability and soldier accommodation.