Army, Marines announce first units to receive new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles

U.S. Army leaders from U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command compare a production model Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to a Humvee at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., May 2, 2017. The new truck was designed to boost protection and provide improved maneuverability, transportability, maintainability and connectivity to 21st-century battlefield networks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland)

Step aside HMMWV- select units of the US Army and Marine Corps have been hand-picked to add 569 new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles to their respective motor pools, in the name of testing and evaluation.

The Army’s 10th Mountain Division and USMC’s II Marine Expeditionary Force have been tapped to test out the new JLTVs by 2019, with 10th Mountain receiving about 500 and II MEF only getting about 69 of the new vehicles.

In October, the U.S.  placed a $42 million order for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program, which included vehicles with installed and packaged kits.

Built by Oskhosh Corp, the JLTVs are to take the place of about 1/3 of the US military HMMWV fleet and see more frontline action where the slow and top-heavy MRAP is running into problems. The JLTV beat out all other competitors -including Lockheed-Martin- in a competition to decide what was best for both the warfighter and the bottom line.

U.S. Army leaders from U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command compare a production model Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to a Humvee at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., May 2, 2017. The new truck was designed to boost protection and provide improved maneuverability, transportability, maintainability and connectivity to 21st-century battlefield networks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland)

“These were three very capable commercial companies that made some decisions about how to best provide those requirements. The government tested and evaluated them, and eventually we selected what we believe is the very best value for the taxpayer,” said Army Col. Shane Fullmer, program manager for the Joint Program Office.

The four seater variant -a general purpose version- can be equipped with anything from an M2 .50 caliber to a TOW anti-tank missile. There is also a two-seater for utility purposes.

Above all, the JLTV can compete with the HMMWV in terms of traversing adverse terrain- except do it in a much more comfortable manner.

The Humvee will beat you up so bad,” Peter Klema, a test technician with Oshkosh Defense who also spent 13 years in the Army as a mechanic, told Military.com. “After eight hours in a Humvee, you feel like you have been eight hours in a Humvee. In this, you feel like you have been driving in your car- a lot less body fatigue.”

In addition to capabilities, the vehicles are armored to protect against IED and projectile threats.

All in all, around 100,000 JLTVs are expected to be purchased, all to the tune of about $30 billion. Both services will continue to use the HMMWV as well, particularly because of the weight challenges of making a JLTV ambulance.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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