• Damien Lane

Oshkosh JLTV coming to U.S Army

A new type of vehicle will be replacing the iconic Army Humvee that has been in the U.S. Army for 29 years now. The Humvee has been in use since 1990 and has been changed in different ways to work for any situation on the battlefield.

The company was founded in 1917 and is an American company that designs and builds specialty trucks, military vehicles, truck bodies, airport fire vehicles, and access equipment. The company is worth $30 billion today.

The new vehicle is called Oshkosh JLTV and was developed by Oshkosh Defence. The vehicle was made as a prototype in 2013 as a light combat tactical all-terrain vehicle (L-ATV) for the U.S. Army but wasn't signed off for the army until August 2015 when the company was awarded a $176 million contract to build them. The vehicle was then put on the production line for the army and was made into four different types of models for the army with a total of 409 being built. The full amount of vehicles that will be made will be finished sometime in 2019.

The contract that Oshkosh signed says they will deliver 17,000 light tactical vehicles to the Army and Marine Corps for the U.S. only under the rules of the contract. The contract given to the Oshkosh corporation was selected ahead of Lockheed Martin corporation and AM General and totaled $6.7 billion with a eight-year production contract for the development of JLTVs in August 2015, according to Army-Technology.

The development came to a halt in September 2015 when Lockheed Martin filed a lawsuit with the US Government Accountability Office to change the contract. The court denied it, and the assembly line was back up and running in February 2016.

The first type of the vehicle was a flatbed version that was made to help move things around with 397 hp and 3000 rpm. The engine was made for the new vehicle, but the idea for the design came from semi trucks. The engine needed to be able to pull heavy loads, but it couldn't be a stick shift. Oshkosh instead made an engine that could pull but be a 6-speed automatic with a specially-made Oshkosh transfer case. The truck also has a TAK-4i intelligent suspension system to help with bumps and have a smoother ride on all terrains.

The vehicle has four different models that are used for holding supplies or equipment. The other ones are used to carry people in more armored models to protect them. As the Oshkosh slogan goes, "Anything else is something less". The average weight of the vehicle is 14,000 lbs, costing between $400,000-$560,000 depending on whether the model has R&D, radios, weapons, and armor.

The vehicles can be equipped with different types of utilities and tools which can be installed, such as a Boeing short-range air defence (SHORAD) launcher integrating an M299 launcher with four Hellfire missiles and an M3P .50 calibre machine gun. It can be also be equipped with remote weapon system (RWS) with an M230LF cannon or a Samson dual-stabilised remote weapon system (RWS) with a M230 LF gun. Other mounted weapons can be added, as well, such as a 40mm Automatic grenade launcher, 5.56×45mm NATO Light machine gun, 7.62×51mm NATO general purpose machine gun, self-propelled surface-to-air missile system, 60 mm, 81 mm, and120 mm mortars.

The safety protection system only comes up to a MRAP protection level, which means it can only withstand improvised explosive devices and small arm fire. The bottom of the vehicle will also have a blast plate to help with improvised devices to deflect the blast out, according to Oshkoshdefense.com.