Since the mid-1980s, the Humvee have dominated in the role at the base and battlefield transportation for the United States military. An iconic vehicle projecting strength, power and overall ruggedness, the time has come in the 21st century for the successor for the Humvee to emerge.
A new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) candidate would have to be badder and more capable than the current vehicle. Better fuel efficiency, more capability to negotiate rough terrain and improved blast protection to occupants are some of the qualities the military will be looking for from an advanced vehicle. This week, the United States government has narrowed the list of candidates down to three. AM General, Lockheed Martin and Oshkosh Corporation have been chosen to be part of a selection process that could equate to several billion dollars in government defence contracts. All three companies have been granted entrance into the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase of the United States military’s evaluation program that consists in shaking down several prototypes of each proposed candidate for the new JLTV.
The manufacturer of the current Humvee, AM General is once again intent to maintain their armed forces with the development of a new JLTV. Called the BRV-O (Blast Resistant Vehicle- Off Road), AM General greatly steps up their efforts on what has been a beloved predecessor. A more solid performer off road, the AM General BRO-V incorporates stable off roading abilities that is maintained thanks to self-levelling suspension. Better armor and shock absorption protection against blasts within a combat arena makes the AM General BRV-O delivers a more survivable outcome for soldiers riding inside. Storage and hauling are also robust with the BRV-O presenting a payload capability of up to 3,500 pounds. A fuel efficient, high-torque engine is combined with a 6-speed transmission on the AM General BRV-O
AM General has been rewarded with a $64.5-million US contract for what will produce 22 demonstration BRV-Os. AM General advertises their company experience and the BRV-O’s design as effective in creating an affordable JLTV that will serve the military needs for decades to come.
Lockheed Martin JLTV
Lockheed Martin has been largely associated with aerospace for military and NASA needs. Winning a 66.3-million dollar US contract through the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development phase for the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program, Lockheed Martin is spreading its wings to the support of ground forces. The Lockheed Martin JLTV appears to be a very fierce contender on wheels with considerable protection and flexibility.
The Lockheed Martin JLTV structure is created around what is called a Family of Vehicles (FOV). The concept of the Lockheed Martin JLTV focuses on maximum modularization allowing the vehicle to be easily adapted to various support roles. Armor of the Lockheed Martin JLTV is said to have the ability to withstand higher strength improvised explosive devices. Tested for over 160,000 miles so far, the Lockheed Martin JLTV design has also been tested through helicopter airlifts by CH-47 and CH-53 aircraft meeting the demands of both the army as well as the marines. With impressive off road performance and payload capabilities, the engine of the Lockheed Martin JLTV is set to offer up to 60 percent better fuel efficiency than “legacy vehicles”.
Along with catering to the United States military needs, the Lockheed Martin JLTV is also set to woo the Australian armed forces by offering right-hand drive variants.
An experienced manufacturer of utility-quality specialty vehicles for military, emergency response and recreational product markets, Oshkosh Corporation has been in business since 1917. Awarded with a $56.4 million US EMD phase prize, Oshkosh has introduced their L-ATV (Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle) as a proposed United States military offering.
Advertised as high-performance and lightweight, the Oshkosh L-ATV can manoeuvre confidently into the combat zone while also providing protection. Riding on the company’s TAK-4i™ intelligent independent suspension system, the Oshkosh L-ATV has actually been race-tested. An Oshkosh built prototype known as the LCTV endured and survived the rigors of the Baja 1,000. The Oshkosh L-ATV concept has the capacity of running on an optional diesel-electric hybrid powertrain called ProPulse. “Military leaders have recognized JLTV as one of their top modernization priorities, and the Oshkosh L-ATV entry represents our significant investment in this project and showcases our advanced technology,” said company vice president and general manager of Joint and Marine Corps Programs John Bryant.
A 27-month evaluation period under the EMD effort for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is now underway for the eventual replacement of the mighty Humvee.
Information and photo source: AM General, Army Contracting Command- Warren, Lockheed Martin, Oshkosh Corporation