Are There Simple Comparisons of the Current JLTV That Can Be Put in Context to the CG Enabling Better Understanding of the Vehicle's Capability Rather Than Just Stating Data?
The Army owns and operates a large fleet of wheeled combat and support vehicles, divided into three categories: heavy, medium, and light tactical vehicles. It also often uses ground mobility capabilities that are not formally identified in any of the categories, such as all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles, as well as some continuing use of pack animals. These vehicles are informally classified as ultra-light tactical mobility (UTM).
Over the past 30 years, multiple wars, and dozens of conflicts, the AM General Humvee has cemented its legacy in American culture. Officially the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV, the Humvee went into service with all five branches of the United States Military beginning in 1985, but it wasn't until Americans back home watched the Humvee barrel into battle during the Gulf War that it captured the hearts and minds of civilians. The Humvee has served valiantly since then, but there's no escaping Father Time or the unconventional nature of modern warfare. With Humvees proving vulnerable to roadside bombs and small-arms fire, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps began looking for a successor in 2008. The replacement is now ready: the faster, stronger, and deadlier Oshkosh L-ATV. Likely to be better known as the Oshkosh JLTV, we got behind the wheel of the new Baja-bred and Duramax-powered armored truck before it officially goes into service late next year. The Oshkosh JLTV, or Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, is currently in low-rate initial production and is designed to replace all Army and Marine Humvees in front-line service. But before we get too far into the JLTV, it's important to understand why the tried-and-true Humvee is being replaced. The Humvee, like the M151 MUTT and Willys M38 and MB Jeeps before it, was designed to support troops in a conventional conflict like World War II. It was intended to get troops and cargo anywhere, thanks to a drivetrain tucked up into the cabin and portal axles that helped to give the Humvee tidy dimensions and impressive clearances. Designed in a different era, the Humvee wasn't intended for the types of wars the U.S. has fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. With both conflicts devolving into unconventional warfare, Humvees quickly proved vulnerable to enemy roadside mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The military's initial response of sending "up-armored" Humvees into battle was insufficient. With curb weight jumping from 6,000 pounds to over 13,000 pounds, the Humvee's 190-hp 6.5-liter turbodiesel V-8, four-speed automatic and independent suspension was quickly overwhelmed by the extra weight. The last M1116 up-armored Humvee we tested weighed 13,200 pounds and did 0-60 mph in 36.5 seconds (we've also tested a 2004 H1 hitting 60 mph in 15.6 seconds). There's slow, and then there's Humvee-slow.
DOD reports both the Army and Marines have extended their procurement profiles due to program strategy changes, primarily due to updating the mix of vehicle variants and kits. The Army now plans to conclude its procurement in FY2036 and the Marines in FY2023. Total program costs have also increased to $28.03 billion (a 10.9% increase), primarily due to the increase in procurement profiles, increase in Marine Corps quantities to 9,091 vehicles, updates in vehicle configuration and kit mix for the Army, updates in vehicles and kits based on the vehicle configuration mix for the Marines, and an increase in other support and initial spares for the Army and Marines (SARs, 2017). A redacted May 2, 2018, DOD IG report notes that, while the Army and Marine Corps developed adequate test plans, the services had not demonstrated effective test results to prepare the JLTV program for full rate production. The IG’s review of test results in August and September of 2017 determined the JLTV failed to meet all maintenance-related performance requirements. The IG suggested certain capabilities be developed to address the shortfall, but specifics were redacted in the public version of the report. The JLTV Program Executive Office (PEO) noted in response that the program would equip all JLTVs with the unspecified capability cited in the IG’s report (Ashley Tressel, 2018).
Given these points, for a near-term solution to gain the ability to control the seas from ashore, the Marines will pair the Naval Strike Missile – the same anti-ship missile going on the Littoral Combat Ships to boost their own lethality – with an unmanned Joint Light Tactical Vehicle with a launcher on top. For what could ultimately provide greater range but will take more time for development, the Marines are also pursuing a ground-launched cruise missile that could end up being the Maritime Strike Tomahawk launched from atop the JLTV.
CRS In Focus IF10392, Foreign Military Sales Congressional Review Process, by Paul K. Kerr.
Department of Defense Comprehensive Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs) for the December 31, 2017,
Ashley Tressel, “JLTV Procurement Stretched by One Year,” InsideDefense.com, April 5, 2018.