Prototype for military Hummer replacement is on the way

Oshkosh Truck and Northrop Grumman's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle promises better maneuverability, survivability, and payload capacity than the Humvee.

Mark Rutherford
The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at markr@milapp.com. Disclosure.
Mark Rutherford
Northrop Grumman

Despite the pickup truck and cow catcher styling, the prototype of the military's new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) from Oshkosh Truck and Northrop Grumman promises better maneuverability, survivability, and payload capacity over the HMMWV it's designed to replace.

The U.S. Army and Marine Corps want something that comes armor-equipped, fuel-efficient, and air-droppable. It also wants a vehicle that can run on two flats and endure sustained small-arms fire. But most of all, performance must "exceed" that of the HMMWV, better known as the Humvee--which means it has to be more mine-resistant and ambush-proof than the flimsy Hummers plying the roads of Iraq today.

However, the Defense Department's decision to buy 6,800 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) as "interim" replacements to armored Humvees may mean that troops won't see the new JLTV until 2012, according to National Defense.

At least 18 other manufacturers are contributing elements or developing prototypes to compete for the next-generation of lightweight vehicles that will replace the Humvee, including General Tactical Vehicles, Hadas, Intermap Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Magna Powertrain, Mistral, ODF Optronics, Precision Remotes, Remote Reality, Reynolds Fasteners, Robertson Aviation, Rockwell Collins, Tai, Tesla Industries, and VSE, according to Defense News.

The companies agreed that if they are selected for the JLTV program, Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector will be the primary contractor and systems integrator, while Oshkosh Truck's Defense Group will be responsible for designing, engineering, and manufacturing the vehicle, according to a joint statement.