U.S. Army Humvees have grown to become a fairly iconic sight. It’s pretty rare to find someone in this day and age who wouldn’t be able to recognize one in a split-second glance. The current Humvee has been in service since 1984 and even though they’re still capable machines, the Marine Corps and Army have been shopping around for its replacement for the past three years. Yesterday, it was decided that Oshkosh Defense would be awarded the contract to produce the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JTLV) – aka the new Humvee.
Oshkosh, Lockheed Martin, and AM General (maker of the current Humvee) were picked in 2012 to each submit 22 prototype vehicles for an intensive, grueling, competitive 14-month testing period – with Oshkosh coming out on top and being awarded a 6.75 billion dollar contract to produce 17,000 of the new Humvees; the first of which are scheduled to being service in 2018.
Out of the 17,000 vehicles contracted for the first three years of low-rate production, 5,500 of them are slated to go to the Marine Corps between 2018 and 2022. Undoubtedly, the Marines will be glad to hear it as they’re usually last in line for new equipment, or so the rumours go.
The U.S. Army will have a longer procurement contract in place and it is on course to go from 2018 to 2040 with an estimated 49,099 new vehicles.
After the initial three-year low-rate production period, Oshkosh will move into five years of full-rate production.
We don’t have too many details on the new Humvee or JLTV but we do know the Army and Marine Corps’s requirements for the Humvee replacement called for a larger, more reliable, safer, modernized with onboard diagnostics and better equipped to deal with the ever-changing landscape of modern global warfare – i.e. being able to link into current and future tactical data nets. Initial reports say the JLTV is indeed larger and more survivable.
The first JLTVs will come in two variations – four-passenger combat vehicles and two-seat combat support vehicles, with a maximum weight of 15,639 pounds to enable helicopter transportation.