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The U.S. Army and Marine Corps have made their final selection for the replacement to the aging Humvee. Meet the new Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) built by Oshkosh Defense.
The decision caps off a three-year investigational phase in the military branches’ search for a new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), during which Oshkosh, Lockheed Martin, and AM General (maker of the long-serving Humvee) submitted 22 prototype vehicles that were each subjected to an intensive 14-month competitive test.
If it looks like a bigger, buffer descendent of the vehicle that it’s replacing, that’s fully intentional. When the Pentagon needed a way to cart troops around through dangerous terrain, it first turned to Humvees carrying more armor. This slowed down the vehicles, which were designed to be light weight, and didn’t offer as much protection as needed. Next, the military looked to MRAPs, a kind of heavy truck made for surviving bomb blasts. The L-ATV borrows design elements from MRAPs, but with the promise of more speed, and therefore more mobility, than the heavier armored trucks. The original Humvee, like the jeeps it replaced, was designed as an off-road vehicle, and the L-ATV should be able to travel freely across terrain too.
The L-ATV is almost three times the weight of the original Humvee design. That’s a major concern for the Marines, who will field the L-ATVs from ships initially designed to carry their lighter predecessors. In the initial contract, Oshkosh will build 17,000 of the L-ATV over the next few years, with 5,500 of those going to the Marine Corps. The total production run of the vehicle is set to be much larger, with the Army looking to replace over 49,000 vehicles currently in service.
The Oshkosh engineers started with the fragile human occupants and layered protection outward. A blast-deflecting and -absorbing unitized central shell surrounds energy-absorbing seats and floor panels. Subframes attach in such a way as to direct harm away from the occupants. Similarly, the TAK-4i intelligent independent suspension is designed to absorb off-road impacts like a SCORE race truck, providing 20 inches of total travel. The JLTV is said to be able to traverse any course of ruts and bumps 70 percent faster than the Oshkosh Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) ATV, the next most-capable military truck, at equivalent comfort levels. Ride height is adjustable, allowing the JLTV to crouch into low-clearance amphibious transport vehicles. We presume the suspension employs oil and/or air springs, and we understand that central tire inflation is provided (suggesting it may use offset gear-reduction hubs like the Humvee), but further specifics remain under wraps while Lockheed-Martin contests the Pentagon’s 55,000-vehicle contract awarded to Oshkosh. (Another rejected supplier, AM General, is not protesting the decision.) Stay tuned.
originally posted by: ignorant_ape
a reply to: TheBadCabbie
only the americans could give a vehicle with a dry weight of 7 tons the designation - " light " with a straight face