The Pentagon finally has a replacement for the aging Humvee
Say goodbye to the Humvee, and hello to the Oshkosh Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle.
After nine years of competition, the Pentagon has made Oshkosh Defense the winner of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) contract, beating out AM General and Lockheed Martin. Its Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) will begin replacing the iconic AM General Humvee over the next few years.
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The JLTV program is a joint U.S. Army/Marines initiative to develop a replacement for the Humvee that began in 2006. Two types of vehicles will be produced; a four-passenger Combat Tactical Vehicle (CTV) and a two-passenger Combat Support Vehicle (CSV). The JTLV vehicle needed to be easily maintainable, reliable and able to be transported without much difficulty. As was the case with the Humvee, it also needed to perform well in all terrain.
A Congressional Research Service report notes that the Humvee entered service in 1985 and was ill-equipped to handle the threat of improvised explosive devices (IED), a common threat in the U.S.'s 21st century conflicts.
We'll still be seeing the iconic Humvee for some time, though. The Pentagon's initial contract is for $6.7 Billion and 17,000 vehicles, though that will surely continue after the first production run is completed. Foxtrot Alpha notes the JLTV contract is expected to be worth $30 Billion with over 54,000 vehicles produced over the next few decades.
It's even possible production could extend into the middle of the century.
Over 280,000 Humvees have been built to date, so it'll be quite some time before the Oshkosh L-ATV fully phases them out.
In a press release Tuesday, Oshkosh was quick to highlight the L-ATVs strengths.
“Our JLTV has been extensively tested and is proven to provide the ballistic protection of a light tank, the underbody protection of an MRAP-class vehicle, and the off-road mobility of a Baja racer. The Oshkosh JLTV allows troops to travel over rugged terrain at speeds 70% faster than today’s gold standard, which is our Oshkosh M-ATV. Looking to future battlefields, we know that our troops will face a myriad of threats. Soldiers and Marines can be assured that the highly capable Oshkosh JLTV will perform the mission.”
The venerable Humvee has provided reliable service, but it was seriously lacking in speed and safety. In addition, the nature of war has changed drastically over the past 20 years, requiring a new kind of Light Tactical Vehicle.