BATTLESPACE Editor, Julian Nettlefold, was delighted to accept the invitation at DVD today, by Oshkosh Defense to take a ride in the Oshkosh JLTV vehicle as selected by the US Army and USMC and the UK MoD for the MRV(P) Programme. Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, exhibited the JLTV DVD, this week. The JLTV is the next-generation light tactical wheeled vehicle that delivers unmatched protection, speed and off-road mobility never before seen on today’s battlefield.
In July 2017, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which manages Foreign Military Sales (FMS), announced that the State Department approved the sale of Oshkosh-designed and manufactured JLTVs through the FMS process to satisfy the United Kingdom’s Group 1 requirement for the Multi Role Vehicle Protected (MRV-P) Program. This is the first FMS case to be initiated since Oshkosh was awarded the U.S. contract in August of 2015 to replace up to 16,901 U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps in-service uparmored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs).
The UK is the first overseas customer for JLTV. Government-to-Government negotiations are underway for an FMS buy for JLTV for the UK. The final specification is currently being formalised and we don’t expect any major changes. Earlier this year, Oshkosh had the opportunity to demonstrate the JLTV in the UK for the UK MoD as well as many of our allies in the region. The feedback received from potential customers has been incredibly positive Alex Hittle of Oshkosh told the Editor.
Oshkosh is demonstrating the vehicle to potential customers including Lithuania and Denmark. To date, Oshkosh has delivered more than 1600 vehicles and manufactured more than 2000 under the current LRIP Program. Milestone C for Full Production is for 17,000 vehicles in December 2018 for a production contract in First Quarter 2019. The total current buy is 49,099 (Army) 5,500 (USMC). There are two main variants of JLTV the 2 door Cargo Variant with a similar payload to the HMMV Cargo variant and the 4 Door Variant. These variants are broken down into M1278 Heavy Guns Carrier, M1279 Utility, M1280 General Purpose and M1281 Close Combat Weapons Carrier. The vehicle can be underslung from a CH-47 and two under a CH-53. There is a ‘B’ Kit added armour option. The JLTV will provide U.S. and allied forces around the globe with a next generation, lightweight, all-terrain vehicle that is protected, mobile, and proven.
* Protected: The JLTV base vehicle (right off the production line) provides small arms and ballistics protection. With an add-on B kit, the JLTV achieves levels of protection equivalent to the base M-ATV.
* Mobile: The JLTV combines the latest in suspension technologies, using the Oshkosh TAK-4i™ intelligent independent suspension system to deliver off-road speeds that are 70% faster than today’s gold standard, the M-ATV.
* Proven: Working closely with our government customer, we have completed Reliability Qualification Testing, accumulating over 100,000 miles, exceeding requirements.
The JLTV program office expects the first Army unit equipped by mid-FY19 and both the Army and Marine Corps to achieve Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in early FY20.
Motive power for the JLTV variant of the L-ATV is provided by a digitally-controlled Gale Banks Engineering 866T V-8 diesel, this based on the architecture of the General Motors (GM) Duramax. Power output is undisclosed but estimated to be around 300hp. In commercial use power output of the Duramax engine is currently up to 397 hp (296 kW) at 3000rpm. An unspecified fully automatic six-speed Allison Traansmission is fitted, this coupled to an Oshkosh transfer case. It is currently not known if this is a single-speed or two-speed (high/low ratio) transfer case. The suspension system is the Oshkosh patented TAK-4i system.
So having had the brief the Editor was invited to take a ride! So, does the JLTV live up to its reputation as another excellent vehicle provide by a company which has been the mainstay of US Army tactical vehicles for many years? The answer is a resounding, yes!
As our readers know the Editor has spent many hours traversing the Off-Road track at Millbrook, one of the most testing circuits in the UK in a myriad of vehicles from the Land Rover Wolf provide by Hobson Industries thru the GD Wolfhound to the NAVISTAR Husky. Although the Editor was champing at the bit to drive the vehicle he had to settle for second best and be a passenger in the front seat!
The first observation is one of excellent protection and safety. The JLTV wraps you in a cocoon of armoured steel and glass so secure that it seems impenetrable, whilst being roomy and friendly at the same time; the JLTV variant we rode in was the 4 Door Variant as being offered to the UK.
The vehicle is remarkable quiet and agile with the gearbox offering a smooth takeoff through the gears onto the Off-Road. The JLTV has High and Low Range with Diff Locks on every axle to allow the vehicle to attack any obstacle be it water, sand or as we found, logs! The result was an effortless journey round the test track with any obstacle be it sand, water, angles be they steep drops or side traverse, being attacked and conquered as if the vehicle was on a day trip to the beach!
The first thing that is noticeable is the quietness in the cab, unlike many military vehicles, there is no gunning of the engine or screaming gearbox, the JLV takes it obstacles with the ease of an antelope! The other feature is that there is no roll when the vehicle hits difficult obstacles and crucially none of the head-banging features encountered with other vehicles when a large obstacle or rough terrain, in short , the JLTV glides over the terrain like a ballerina!
We arrived back at the Oshkosh Stand as if we had been for a trip into Ampthill to collect the papers, not having encountered a host of difficult obstacles designed to test a vehicle to destruction! In short, Oshkosh has got this vehicle dead on with its ride, protection and comfort, at the same time as providing maximum protection to its crew from IEDs and other external attack.
Next time BATTLESPACE will take the wheel!