Early light wheeled utility vehicles used by the military were small enough to maneuver in tight spaces, simple enough to be fixed by novices and light enough that a crew could dig them out when they got stuck in sand or mud. These thin-skinned quarter-tonne four-wheel drive military utility vehicles were built for the battlefields of the times, where there were well-defined front lines and rear areas. Drivers and passengers were all exposed with little protection, which was adequate in most cases given that threats from mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were not as commonplace.
When the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs or “Humvees”) entered service in 1983, they were bigger, heavier, and more agile than their predecessors. Designed in the late 1970s, the HMMWV was likewise never intended to provide significant protection against IEDs and ballistic threats like machine gun and rocket fire. In response to a changed threat environment, modifications were made to the HMMWV including thicker armor and ballistic glass to offer some protection against small arms fire, and some variants provided top-mounted gun turrets. These enhancements, however, added significant weight to the vehicle which seriously degraded mobility and reliability as engines, drivetrain and suspension components were not engineered to handle the added tonnage.
Now there is a new standard for performance: a next-generation tactical wheeled vehicle that combines world-class MRAP-level protection, performance and power in a single go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle.
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) developed by Oshkosh Defense sets a whole new standard for protected off-road mobility and firepower in one highly-transportable package. Selected as the U.S. military’s next-generation light tactical wheeled vehicle, the JLTV delivers an unparalleled combination of payload, performance and protection with the flexibility to meet a wide-variety of mission requirements.
Available in two-door and four-door variants – and in four configurations: Utility, General Purpose, Heavy-Guns Carrier and Close-Combat Weapons Carrier – the JLTV is highly-configurable and mission equipment can be installed at the field level. It is light enough at about 10,000 kg to be sling-loaded under a CH-47 helicopter, yet powerful enough to haul up to 2,300 kg and to seamlessly support a host of powerful weapon systems from a variety of manufacturers.
Achieving a tactical advantage on the modern battlefield requires speed and agility to get to the fight quickly, to outmaneuver threats and to strike fast and hard.
The JLTV is built for that challenge. Powered by a 340-horsepower Banks 866T 6.6-liter turbo diesel engine mated to a proven Allison 6-speed automatic transmission, the JLTV has the power, torque, and off-road mobility to conquer even the roughest terrain. Oshkosh Defense’s patented TAK-4iTM intelligent independent suspension provides 508 mm of wheel travel on all four wheels.
The JLTV has a maximum speed greater than 113 kmph on road. However, with the JLTV’s superior suspension design, the JLTV is also capable of achieving off-road speeds 70 percent faster than other tactical wheeled vehicles with comparable levels of protection. The combination of speed and superior off-road handling puts JLTV above all other vehicles when it comes to protected mobility. And if the mission requires protection, performance, mobility AND a vehicle that’s highly transportable, no other vehicle comes close to JLTV.
“The JLTV can get to the fight, close in on an enemy and get out of range faster and safer than any of the competition,” said Mike Ivy, senior vice president of International Programs and Global Product Support for Oshkosh Defense. “Cruising range of the JLTV is an outstanding 483 km with superior reliability and performance.”
JLTV’s integrated driveline lockup control provides extra traction as needed and a centralised tire-inflation system lets drivers select among four terrain settings – all without exiting the protective crew capsule.
“This vehicle is truly built to go anywhere,” said Ivy. “That’s critical, because extreme off-road mobility means you get to be unpredictable which is key to achieving a tactical advantage.”
Protection is likewise a must for any combat vehicle. The JLTV includes best-in-class armor and engineered ballistic glass, along with superior blast-protected seating, 5-point crew harnesses, and an advanced V-hull design to deflect blasts away from the crew compartment.
Real-world experience from manufacturing and delivering more than 10,000 MRAP All-Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV) in combat environments brought about design innovations like automatic fire-extinguishers in the crew space, engine compartment and wheel wells. Grueling U.S. Army field testing and extensive modeling and simulation further fine-tuned the JLTV’s design.
In addition to protection and performance, the JLTV is designed to be customised for virtually any mission requirement. Each JLTV is pre-wired to support a range of integrated command, control, communications and intelligence systems from common manufacturers for maximum situational awareness.
The JLTV can also be configured with many weapons systems, depending on the mission or threat environment. An optional turret supports standard weapons mounts for 7.62mm manned or remotely-operated machine guns or for a variety of cannon and tube-launched missile systems. Side- or rear-mounted weapons from a wide variety of manufacturers are also seamlessly supported.
“The JLTV is a premier weapons platform,” Ivy said. “We at Oshkosh can configure the JLTV in almost any way required for combat operations. The options are limited only by the imagination.”