PROVING THE PROTOTYPES
U.S. Army’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program enters testing phase
AU.S. Army-led program to find a replacement for the High Mobility Multipurpose
Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) — aka
the Humvee — has entered the testing portion of the engineering and
manufacturing development phase.
Testing of Joint Light Tactical Vehicle
(JLTV) prototypes from three manufacturers began in September and will
continue for 14 months.
AM General, Lockheed Martin and
Oshkosh Defense (see December
2012 Diesel Progress) have delivered
22 vehicles and six trailers for testing to
Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland,
Yuma Test Center in Arizona, and
Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
The light tactical wheeled vehicles
used by the Army and Marine Corps
have the most demanding mission
profiles, underscoring the challenges
that face today’s military. “The days of
front lines and rear areas are gone,”
said JLTV Project Manager Col.
John R. Cavedo. “Our objective is to
eliminate the tradeoffs commanders
have to make today between mine-
resistant, ambush-protected vehicles
and the Humvee, and to give them a
flexible, expeditionary, and networked
vehicle able to handle tomorrow’s
Cavedo said the notion of a front
line was no longer applicable after
9/11. Since then the Humvees manu-
factured by AM General, which started
doing so in 1985, have become vulner-
able to improvised explosive devic-
es (IEDs) regardless of where they
were being used. Vehicles were “up-
armored” for protection but the enemy
then used more lethal explosives, and
the added weight taxed the vehicle’s
performance and limited its payload.
vehicles (MRAPs) were developed to
further protect soldiers and Marines
as a result. While they have good payload capability and have helped save
many lives over the past six years, performance was sacrificed and soldiers
could not move with speed and agility around the battlefield, Cavedo said.
The sustainment cost for the MRAP
program also increased over the years,
he said, as more variants were developed by different vendors. Parts were
not interchangeable and mechanics
had to get follow-up training.
The U.S. Armed Forces are seeking a replacement for the venerable Humvee as part of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program. AM General
has drawn on its years of expertise building the Humvee to develop its BRV-O vehicle, seen here on its assembly line in Mishawaka, Ind.