Oshkosh JLTV Joint Light Tactical Vehicles to replace Humvees of US Air Force
According to information published on November 9, 2020, the U.S. Air Force Agile Combat Support Directorate is working with the Department of the Army to field the DoD replacement for up-armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, better known as Humvees with JLTVs Joint Light Tactical Vehicles manufactured by the American company Oshkosh Defense.
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The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's Agile Combat Support Directorate is working to replace the up-armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, or Humvee (right), with the Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (left). (Picture source U.S. Air Force)
Through an Army contract with the Oshkosh Corporation, the directorate’s Support Equipment & Vehicles Division, in partnership with the 441st Vehicle Support Chain Operation Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va., plan to acquire and field approximately 3,230 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles starting in 2021.
Developed by the Army based on the U.S. experience fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the JLTV is considered a major upgrade from Humvees currently in the field. It’s designed to achieve operational objectives in Performance, Payload and Protection against adversaries and provide better protection against improvised explosive devices.
“The JLTV is much more capable than the Humvee,” said Al Bello, chief of the division’s Mobility and Vehicles Branch, which oversees the JLTV Integrated Product Team leading the replacement effort. “Besides the technological advances, the ride and comfort of the vehicle is so much better, especially when you are going over uneven terrain. A ride in a Humvee can be very jarring, but this [JLTV] has an independent suspension, increased power with General Motors power and drivetrains, and overall is just a better vehicle due to evolving technology.”
While the Air Force has both up-armored and non-armored Humvees, this effort is currently focused on replacing up-armored Humvees. The directorate is acquiring three different JLTV variants including a general-purpose vehicle (GP), utility vehicle (UTL), and a heavy guns carrier vehicle (HGC).
For instance, due to their unique mission and requirements, Security Forces, Tactical Air Control Party, Special Tactics and Explosive Ordnance Disposal professionals will all have different configurations.
The new vehicles will start coming off the production line in January 2021. From there they will be sent to the Naval Information Warfare Center located in North Charleston, S.C., for the installation of mission-specific equipment. Providing there are no equipment delays, the vehicles will then be fielded to Air Force units starting around September 2021.
The JLTV Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is the latest generation of 4x4 armored vehicle in service with the U.S. Army since 2015. It was developed by Oshkosh Defence for the US Army and Marine Corps to replace the aging fleet of High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV/Humvee).
The JLTV is equipped with an advanced crew protection system that offers a protection level similar to a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. The JLTV’s armored capsule is scalable and can accept multiple armor configurations to protect troops from IEDs and today’s other prevalent battlefield threats. It can be fitted with a wide range of remote-controlled weapon stations or ring mount 7.62 or 12,7mm machine gun.
The JLTV can run at a maximum road speed of 120 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 480 km. It can climb a gradient of 60% and a side slope of 40%. It can cross a vertical step of 0.5m and a trench of 0.5m.
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