Meet the U.S. Military's $6.7 Billion Humvee Replacement
Go back and find any coverage of the U.S. military since 1984, and you’ll likely see the AM General HMMVW, or Humvee. In times of peace and war, it has been the go-anywhere backbone of America’s armed forces. The U.S. military has stretched the usefulness of the Humvee well beyond its years, but now it’s time for a new vehicle-of-choice, and Oshkosh just inked a massive $6.7 billion deal to deliver it. It is called the Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV. It was the only product left standing after a grinding decade-long selection process that saw AM General, Lockeed Martin, and Oshkosh each put forth 22 prototypes. RELATED: See images of a civilian HMMVW, the 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha
Compared to the venerable and iconic Humvee, the JLTV is a brutish heavyweight, incorporating lessons learned from the evolution of warfare in the past three decades. It features what Oshkosh calls TAK-4i variable independent suspension system that provides up to 20 inches of wheel travel and can be manually raised and lowered. The defense contractor claims this system will provide 70 percent faster off road speeds compared to contemporary military vehicles, allowing our troops to get to the fight or get out of harm’s way that much faster.
RELATED: See the JLTV's ancestor, the 1941 Willys MA
It is also designed to withstand a “full range of blast and ballistic threats.” That means blast an overall design that is claimed to absorb and deflect blasts, protected seats and stowage, an automatic fire suppression system, and the ability to plug-and-play various sensors and systems for detecting threats. You can see a video of the U.S. military's newest workhorse here:
RELATED: See images of an earlier Oshkosh military vehicle, the 2009 Sand Cat
The $6.7 billion order is for 17,000 vehicles, which is just the tip of the iceberg. According to Foxtrot Alpha, that was just an initial order, and the full order could cost as much as $30 billion for an estimated 54,600 vehicles. According to the report, 49,100 JLTVs are destined for the Army, while 5,500 are slated for the USMC.
A release from Oshkosh says the first sales of the JLTV will begin in 2016. It will replace the venerable Humvee, three decades, and an estimated 280,000 vehicles later.