The Army is testing a new vehicle looking to eventually replace the iconic Humvee. Officials said the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle will offer increased protection and performance.

The Army took a group of reporters to a dirt test track about 30 minutes from Aberdeen Proving Ground June 3 to put the new vehicles through their paces. At first glance, the JLTV looks heavier and safer than current light tactical vehicles. The armor plating and bullet-proof glass will offer better protection for the warfighter, officials said.

The vehicle has different configurations, which seat four to six people.

The JLTV project is a joint project, but also international. The vehicle is a collaborative product between the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, the Australian government and three American industry teams.

“There are three contractor teams working on a common phased set of requirements,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Wolfgang Petermann, project manager. “The vehicles have a little bit different design solutions built into them.”

Petermann said the contractors delivered the vehicles on schedule and within cost requirements of the contract.

“What you’ll see is a balanced solution,” he said. “The key attributes for JLTV are to keep that balance, but also to reduce life-cycle costs for the services. We’ve improved reliability, maintainability. We’ve designed the vehicle to be, one, reliable, but when it does break down, it is easily repairable.”

Petermann said another requirement is transportability.

“We need to be able to get to the fight by a C-130 (airplane) or CH-47 or CH-53 helicopter. We have to be able to get down to different decks on shipping,” he said. “We have maintained an expeditionary capability for the services.”

The contractors for the project are BAE Systems, General Tactical Vehicles and Lockheed Martin. During the 15-month design and build phase, industry teams interpreted military’s requirements to come up with their own vehicle prototypes. Officials said the design and build phase ended May 3 when the contractors delivered the vehicles.

The JLTV has now entered a technology development phase giving the team an opportunity to demonstrate “mature technologies integration” as a complete system.


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