Historically, armoured trucks of the U.S. military became iconic in their own way. There was a simple JEEP Willys that offered no armoured protection, but exceeded all expectations when it came to reliability and off-road capabilities. Then there was Hummer, which, like Jeep, quickly fell into hands of civilians, despite its enormous dimensions.
Now they are using Humvees that are instantly recognizable around the globe. However, their service is coming to an end as the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it has selected Oshkosh Corp for a multi-billion-dollar contract to supply what it calls the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV.
During eight year period Oshkosh Corporation expects to deliver approximately 17,000 vehicles and sustainment services. Observers note that the deal will be worth more than $30 billion, with the possibility of additional sales to international allies. The JLTV was chosen because it has a far superior protection and off-road mobility than currently used HMMWV’s. In fact, corporation is rather proud of capabilities of this vehicle. John M. Urias is executive vice president of Oshkosh Corporation and president of Oshkosh Defense.
Back in a day he was U.S. Army Major General, which means he has respectable knowledge of the matter. He said: “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.”
Of course, modern military vehicles like Oshkosh JLTV are result of cooperation between business institution and scientists. It is said that this machine is the result of hard work of hundreds of engineers. Work on this vehicle started ten years ago, back in 2005, and since then Oshkosh had to establish many collaborations in order to make this achievement possible.
For example, scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have provided expertise in engineering and computer simulations to test various manoeuvres and improve vehicle configuration. Of course, as usually is the case with military vehicles and technologies, there is not a great deal of information available for common public. But Oshkosh Corporation is sharing some of the details about the technologies featured in JLTV.
In vehicles like this, ultimate protection is one of the major goals. JLTV features automatic fire extinguishing systems, energy absorbing floor and seats, wheel zone blast deflectors and ergonomic cabin for the crew. This is further aided by improved ride quality, which should help soldiers on long journeys. Company says that powertrain of the JLTV adapts to different operating conditions and optimized engine power-to-weight ratio provides superior acceleration, mobility and speed on grade capability.
The vehicle will be available in a two seat and a four seat variants. It depends on what kind of missions JLTV will be adapted to. It will have advanced weapon systems, exportable AC and DC power units, latest communication and control systems with centralized computers and Smart Displays, and many other integrated systems making sure that crew can maintain full control of the vehicle in all conditions and navigate through the battlefield.
Company describes technology in the JLTV by saying it can go anywhere and allows soldiers to do anything and remain protected. We will have to wait and see if it will be as iconic as its predecessors, but it certainly is packed with technology and is ready to take on future of warfare. We can be sure that there are many details that are classified about this vehicle and we will only get to know them as lifecycle of it will be nearing to the end. But even with this scarce information it is clear that so much engineering and latest technologies that went into creating Oshkosh simply would not be wasted for a poor quality product.