In mid-March Oshkosh, WI-based Oshkosh Defense announced a contract with the U.S. Army worth $243 million in support of the Army and Marine Corps’ Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program.
One of the key initiatives driving this contract was upgrading our soldier’s fleet of light-duty armored vehicles. In the past, military transport demanded speed, armor or fire power. Now, given the escalation of urban combat and logistically-focused missions, the need for ground vehicles that can not only rapidly transport personnel, but respond to improvised explosive devices and ambush attempts, is vital.
While initial deliveries won’t occur until later this year, let’s take a closer look at some of the key engineering that will help protect our heroes on today’s modern battlefield.
Automotive technology continues to trends towards lighter-weight vehicle compositions. By shedding one-third of their predecessors’ body weight, these JLTVs can now reach off-road speeds in excess of 110 mph.
Then there’s the Core1080 crew protection system, which encompasses advanced ballistic absorption materials on the inside and out, an aerodynamically-designed hull for deflecting explosive debris, wheel deflection devices, and energy-absorption capabilities to insulate against the concussive effects of explosives.
Next is the TAK-4i intelligent independent suspension system. Greater maneuverability and better seating might sound like a creature comfort, but remember, the journey is rarely the mission. Once arriving, our soldiers need to perform. So an easier ride ensures greater situational awareness and less fatigue after driving through less-than-optimal conditions. The suspension can also be raised or lowered depending on the terrain.
Powering these beasts will be a digitally-controlled 6.6-liter Turbo Diesel Engine with a customizable powertrain.
All of this compliments weapons systems that can be fired from a turret or with remote controls. Embedded communication systems will also offer smart displays in accessing navigations systems, targeting capabilities and strategic networks.
Mission success and soldier preservation comes down to the core essentials of shoot, move, communicate. That’s what these new light tactical vehicles are looking to provide.