There’s a Humvee replacement on the way

29 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Check out the military’s next totally badass off-road vehicle.

That’s because the US Army chose Oshkosh Defense to manufacture about 55,000 joint light tactical vehicles (JLTVs) that will become the successors to Humvees and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs).However, over the time, the military services plan to replace a total of 55,000 vehicles, which could see the value of the contract rise to over $30 billion. “Oshkosh has been building tactical vehicles for the Department of Defense for 90 years, so no other company understands the role that tactical vehicles play in our troops’ lives better than Oshkosh“, Charles Szews, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

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. “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“. For Lockheed, which is building the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the Air Force, Marines and Navy, this would have been a test of the company’s ability to design and build a vehicle based nearly entirely on computer simulations. When I asked how the JLTV might change how the Army and Marines fight, I was told this evening that the new vehicle would basically restore mobility that had been taken for granted when the Humvee was designed. The new offering provides underbody and side-armor protection similar to a tank’s, but retains the on-ground and in-theater mobility of an all-terrain vehicle.

This next-generation light vehicle is designed to move and protect American troops against the threats that have proliferated in today’s theatres of war like IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). The vehicle’s reduced weight allows it to be transported by Chinook helicopters and amphibious vessels, a feat that was largely impossible with MRAPs. It has been described as the ideal combination of light tank ballistic protection, an MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected)-level underbody bomb protection with the agility and flexibility of an off-road race vehicle.

Given the casualties caused by roadside bombs (improvised explosive devises or IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has been fiending for a more robust, faster vehicle, such as Oshkosh’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle. Thousands of MRAPs were purchased in response to the traditional Humvees’ failures to sufficiently protect troops from the widespread use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by Iraqi insurgents in the mid-2000s.

This new massively capable combat vehicle will be replacing the US military’s iconic Humvees to provide troops with even more advanced protection and off-road mobility. The losing bidders have ten days to file a protest with the Government Accountability Office after they’ve been briefed on the Army’s decision, and Lockheed said it may do so. It was not unusual for soldiers to stack sandbags on the floors of the vehicles for added protection — and still have to contend with canvas for doors. Oshkosh will begin delivering vehicles about ten months after contract award. “Oshkosh Defense has long-provided our men and women in uniform with the safest and highest quality vehicles as they fight on an ever-evolving battlefield”.

The Humvee, which has been the military’s go-to vehicle for decades, was born in 1979, when AM General began early design work on the M998 Series high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle — or HMMWV, pronounced “Humvee” — to replace the legendary Army Jeep. It will provide Marines and Soldiers with better protection against this threat with improved payload and performance, and without the size of the MRAP. The Marine Corps will get its 5,500 JLTVs early in the program, with the first group of vehicles expected to be ready for combat use in fiscal year 2018. Equipped with state-of-the-art tech, it also provides soldiers and Marines with electronic warfare devices and on-the-move battlefield situational awareness tech. The Pentagon dismissed the Humvee’s original manufacture’s design concept for the JLTV, along with an offering by Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor. “We believe we presented a very strong solution and await the customers’ debrief to hear more detail regarding the reasons behind this selection before making a decision about a potential protest,” the statement said.

These were then tested over a 14-month period. “I am tremendously proud of the JLTV program team,” Heidi Shyu, the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, said in the announcement. “Working with industry, they are delivering major improvements in protected mobility for soldiers and have succeeded in executing a program that remains on-budget and on-schedule.” In addition to the JLTV, they have created a wide range of vehicles including the remarkable TerraMax — a Transformer-like truck that can perform supply missions by itself. Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line.

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