The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is an Army-led, multiservice initiative to develop a family of future light tactical vehicles to replace many of the High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), which has been in service since 1985. The unarmored Humvee were found vulnerable to IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan where hastily added armor provided a flawed and temporary solution. The difficulties and costs experienced in “up-armoring” HMMWVs already in the inventory have led to renewed emphasis on vehicle survivability. The JLTV, however, is built for driving among the IEDs, rocket-propelled grenades, and small-arms fire of the modern battlefield.
The JLTV program is a joint Army/Marine Corps effort to develop and produce both vehicles and associated trailers, capable of performing multiple mission roles while providing protected, sustained, and networked mobility for personnel and payloads across the full spectrum of military operations. Originally, there were three variants, but now there are two JLTV variants: a four-passenger Combat Tactical Vehicle (CTV) and a two-passenger Combat Support Vehicle (CSV). Category B variant was eliminated because it proved to be too heavy to meet the required weight limit of approximately 15,639 pounds to make it transportable by Army CH-47F and Marine Corps CH-53K helicopters.
As planned, JLTVs would be mechanically reliable, maintainable (with on-board diagnostics), all-terrain mobile, and equipped to link into current and future tactical data nets. Survivability and strategic and operational transportability by ship and aircraft are also key JLTV design requirements.
JLTV provides the warfighter significantly more protection against multiple threats while increasing mobility and payload compared to the current armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle platforms. JLTV provides improved off-road mobility, fuel efficiency and reliability over Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles. Its maneuverability enables activities across the spectrum of terrain, including urban areas, while providing inherent and supplemental armor against direct fire and improvised explosive device threats. The JLTV is transportable by a range of lift assets, including rotary-wing aircraft, to support operations across the range of military operations.
The 14,000-pound costing $399,000, JLTV is being manufactured by Oshkosh Defense and is in the low-rate initial production (LRIP) testing phase for the current contract to deliver about 5,000 vehicles, according to Fullmer. The $6.7 billion contract calls for just under 17,000 trucks, along with test support and fielding and maintenance services, with three years of LRIP production and five years of full-rate production, he said. The Army plans to acquire about 55,000 trucks by the mid-2030s that would replace both services’ active-duty and reserve Humvee fleets.
The JLTV, which is scheduled to be fielded with Marines in 2019, will provide the force with capabilities it’s never seen before in a light tactical vehicle. It’s light, mobile, protected, and flexible enough to accept any combination of weapons systems necessary for each mission», said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs, Oshkosh Defense.
In addition to the recently completed operational testing, the JLTV also completed Reliability Qualification Testing earlier in 2018, accumulating over 100,000 miles and exceeding reliability requirements. Till June 2018, Oshkosh has produced more than 2,000 JLTVs and has delivered more than 1,600 JLTVs to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. A Full Rate Production (FRP) decision is expected in FY19.
Full-rate production should begin in November or December of 2019 ahead of fielding, and initial operating capability is expected for early to mid-2020. According to the Marine Corps, fielding for the JLTV will begin in spring 2019.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) wants to buy 54,599 JLTVs — 49,099 for the U.S. Army and 5,500 for the U.S. Marine Corps. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that the DOD will spend more than $53.3 billion on the JLTV program — $1.1 billion for research and at least $52.3 billion for procurement. In all, the Army plans to purchase 49,000 JLTVs and the Marine Corps will purchase 9,091. Air Force will acquire 140 JLTVs in FY2018 for its Security Forces that protect missile launch facilities. The British Army is reportedly trying to acquire 750 JLTVs through Foreign Military Sales (FMS).
Oshkosh was selected as the winner of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) contract in 2015. The Oshkosh’s JLTV competitor brings together the blast absorbing capability of the lumbering Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that became staples of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the agility of a high performance off-road combat truck that can be easily adapted to different missions. Additionally, the JLTV has to be transportable to the forward edges of the battlefield via the cargo hold of a C-130 or underslung beneath a CH-47 or CH-53. They also have to be easily serviced once there.
It was decided that there would be two variants—a Combat Tactical Vehicle (CTV), which can transport four passengers and carry 3,500 pounds, and a Combat Support Vehicle (CSV), which can transport two passengers and carry 5,100 pounds. The four-seat combat tactical vehicle(CTV), which will support general purpose, heavy gun carrier and close-combat weapon carrier missions; and the two-seat combat support vehicle(CSV) supporting the utility/shelter carrier mission.
Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, demonstrated three variants of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) at Modern Day Marine Expo 2018. The 4-door JLTV was outfitted with the Kongsberg Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) with the Javelin Integration Kit (JIK) and .50/12.7-mm Caliber Machine Gun. The 2-door variant housed the Boeing Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) and Kongsberg CROWS Low-Profile Remote Weapon Station (RWS) with a .50/12.7-mm Caliber Machine Gun. A third JLTV was on display in the Kongsberg, integrated with a Kongsberg PROTECTOR II RWS with XM914 Lightweight 30-mm Cannon, JIK, and 7.62-мм coax machine gun.
While many of the JLTV’s performance capabilities are classified, however it is expected to top the ratings of the old Humvee by a wide margin. Some of the military’s requirements for the Humvee include the ability to climb a 60 percent incline, traverse a 40 percent slope, and ford 2.5 feet of water without a snorkel, or 5 feet with a snorkel. As planned, JLTVs would be more mechanically reliable, maintainable (with on-board diagnostics), all-terrain mobile, and equipped to link into current and future tactical data nets. Survivability and strategic and operational transportability by ship and aircraft are also key JLTV design requirements.
Utilizing lessons learned on its M-ATV MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle) program, the JLTV features a V-shaped hull to deflect blasts from below, bulletproof windows, and an armored crew capsule. Compared to an up-armored Humvee, a basic JLTV offers multiple orders of magnitude more protection from bullets and bombs to its occupants. Each JLTV is also capable of being fitted with a “B-Kit” of armor, boosting protection to MRAP-levels of protection.
Engineers are accounting for every milligram of weight during the design and development process — without compromising on performance and survivability. This weight consideration includes the vehicle’s steering system, many of which have been crucially made up of light weight and durable parts to ensure the success of the overall design.
The JLTV is essentially a light tank with 43-inch Michelin wheels can wade through five feet of water too, without even breaking out its optional snorkel. That’s in part because of its fully independent double-wishbone TAK-4i suspension system with electronically adjustable high-pressure gas shocks, which gives the truck the ability to raise and lower on its suspension as needed, while providing a massive 20 inches of suspension travel over obstacles.
Another benefit of some of these light weight military vehicles is adjustable height. Compared with the vehicle’s operational height, the fording height can be up to 60 inches higher, making them exceptionally amphibious and able to clear water obstacles. The steering system further complements these efforts, with parts designed for deep water wading and preventing water ingress.
Like the Humvee, the JLTV also has a full-time four-wheel-drive system with low-range, locking differentials, and a Central Tire Inflation System like the one on the Humvee that lets soldiers adjust tire pressure to suit conditions from inside the vehicle.
The Oshkosh JLTV features the company’s TAK-4i intelligent independent suspension system that adjusts ride-height type with as much as 20 inches of wheel travel. The vehicle also has the digitally controlled General Motors Duramax V8 cylinder 6.6-liter diesel engine, detuned by diesel performance specialist Gale Banks Engineering to provide 400 dependable horsepower and the Allison 6-speed heavy-duty truck transmission. While up-armored Humvee upped the 13,000-lb. curb weight practically rendered the obsolete 190-horsepower Detroit Diesel V8 and four-speed automatic transmission inert.
The vehicle can be fitted with light, medium, and heavy machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, smoke grenade launchers, or anti-tank missiles, operated from ring mounts or a remote weapon station.
The JLTV, is built for driving among the IEDs, rocket-propelled grenades, and small-arms fire of the modern battlefield. Oshkosh’s CORE1080 crew-protection system wraps the cabin in an armored shell. Underneath the floor, a convex hull deflects blasts and shields the cabin from IEDs. Oshkosh’s CORE1080 crew-protection system wraps the cabin in an armored shell. Underneath the floor, a convex hull deflects blasts and shields the cabin from IEDs.
“Where the Humvee’s seats are flat to the floor, the JLTV’s are raised to give your knees some room to bend. There’s more cushioning, and the seat backs feature cutouts to accommodate troops’ hydration packs. Big center and passenger-side dash displays look like they belong in an F/A-18 cockpit, offering critical vehicle data, tactical information, and an all-important backup camera. It provides Joint forces network connectivity that improves situational awareness of the operational environment while enabling a responsive and well-integrated command and control.
A standard HVAC control panel offers blessed air conditioning, and there are even USB ports,” writes Eric Tegler one of the first civilians allowed behind the wheel.
JLTV features a design that supports mobility, reliability and maintainability within weight limits to ensure tactical transport to and from the battlefield. JLTV will use scalable armor solutions to meet requirements for added protection while maintaining load carrying capacity. Commonality of components, maintenance procedures, and training between all variants will minimize total ownership costs. The JLTV family will balance critical weight and transportability constraints within performance, protection, and payload requirements – all while ensuring an affordable solution for the Army and USMC.
During the testing phase of the JLTV program, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps brought along 22 up-armored Humvees to test alongside Oshkosh, Lockheed Martin, and AM General’s JLTV entrants, with each manufacturer providing 22 test vehicles. During nearly three years of testing, platoons equipped with Oshkosh JLTVs had the highest levels of mission success.
Oshkosh’s JLTVs were also far and away the most reliable of the bunch, averaging 7,051 miles between operational mission failure, defined as a system failure that prevents the vehicle from accomplishing its mission. Up-armored Humvees were surprisingly the second-most reliable of the group, averaging 2,968 miles between failures, followed by the Lockheed Martin JLTV at 1,271 miles between failures, and the AM General BRV-O JLTV, which averaged 526 miles between failures .
John Urias, president of Oshkosh Defense, said described the vehicle in a following statement to the Washington Post: “Our JLTV has been extensively tested and is proven to provide the ballistic protection of a light tank, the underbody protection of an MRAP-class vehicle, and the off-road mobility of a Baja racer.”
References and resources also include: