Jeep, HMMWV, MRAP…. JLTV?
As many of you have already heard, earlier this week the US military announced that it had awarded a $6.7 billion initial contract (to extend to $30 billion for 55,000 vehicles) to Oshkosh Defense to supply our fighters with a replacement for the HMMWV. The result- the JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle).
So what exactly does the JLTV bring to the table? For starters, Oshkosh boasts about its new TAK-4i intelligent independent suspension, which they claim allows the JLTV to achieve 70% faster off road speeds than its predecessors. The suspension can also be raised and lowered using controls located inside the cab.
Oshkosh has also equipped the JLTV with the Core1080 crew protection system. By using Core1080, the JLTV uses an A-kit/B-kit type armor system. The A-kit is installed on all vehicles from the factory, composed of minimal armoring and brackets and supports for installation of the B-kit. B-kit is composed of more substantial armor and is installed in the field with “readily available” (a term I use lightly as we all know how things tend to disappear) tools. On top of both kits, an RPG countermeasure type armor can be installed by a crew in the field in half an hour and weighs an additional 800 lbs.
The JLTV is to be released in three payload categories- category A, category B, and category C. Payload category A is made up of two vehicles intended to fulfill the role of “battle space awareness” and “general purpose”. Category B sees a stable of eight variants which are more specific to combat roles, those being troop carriers, reconnaissance vehicles, heavy weapons carriers, command and control units, CQB carriers and ambulance vehicles. Category C is composed of two vehicles, those being a utility variant and again an ambulance. That all said it’s more realistic to assume that within a decade or so, just like today, vehicles are taken out of their traditional roles and soldiers will use variants not intended for their specific roles. (Or be unable to due to design flaws, such as with the illustrious MaxxPro Plus)
All in all the JLTV appears to be a logical step forward for our forces. Of course, this is the United States Military we’re talking about, so privates will undoubtedly find impossible ways to break it. Soldiers being supplied with them will also of course find a countless number of things to complain about. Personally, I’m skeptical of damn near everything our government has its hand in, and rolling out a new combat vehicle is no exception; we could have ended world hunger with the amount of money lobbyists probably used to win over the selection committee. That said, I look forward to seeing this thing crashing through gates to mowing down insurgents all the while keeping our troops as safe as possible.
Expect to see Arnold Schwarzenegger driving around in one in the near future.
About the author: Andrew Farquharson is an Iraq Campaign veteran and an ex-cavalry scout currently living the dream in Newport, Rhode Island as a college student. Aside from writing for 11Bravos his hobbies include mountain climbing, shooting guns and convincing women they should date him. Comments or hate mail can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or, follow him on Instagram @Lord_Farquharson