Oshkosh Wins U.S. Army Contract for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle
“Humvee” Replacement Powered by Banks-Built Duramax Diesel
The Oshkosh Defense Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) has been named the U.S. Army’s choice of Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). Beating out candidates from AM General and Lockheed Martin, among others, Oshkosh will build about 17,000 vehicles in the first run of its low-rate initial contract, valued at $6.7 billion.
The Oshkosh JLTV is powered by a Gale Banks Engineering 866T diesel V-8. Based on the architecture of the Duramax 6.6L engine, the 866T produces between 275 and 575 hp and between 600 and 900 lb-ft of torque, depending on tuning. Plan on the JLTV making at least 350 hp and 700 lb-ft, although it’s not likely we’ll ever find out, since military suppliers play their cards close to their chest, generally. According to Banks, the companies tested the JLTV and 866T in plain sight, running a vehicle in the 2007 Baja 1000 desert race.
The Oshkosh L-ATV also uses the company’s TAK-4i independent suspension system, which provides 20 inches of suspension travel and enables higher-speed travel over a variety of terrain. The adaptable suspension can be raised or lowered via an interior-mounted control. The L-ATV can be optioned with a ProPulse diesel-electric powertrain, which not only improves performance but serves as an onboard generator.
Crew protection was a priority for Oshkosh. Radio-based IED defeat, mine-resistant underbelly protection (usually only available with much larger, heavier vehicles), infrared and visible-light camera systems, and shot detection help protect soldiers and warn them of impending dangers. A vast computer and communication network keeps the vehicle connected and even enables control of remote weapons systems. Automatic fire-suppression systems and blast-resistant bodywork help prevent soldiers becoming trapped in a disabled vehicle.
With a curb weight of 14,000 pounds, the L-ATV is much lighter than other Oshkosh military vehicles, although it’s about double the weight of the AM General HMMWV (“Humvee”). The L-ATV is still small enough to be transported by a Lockheed C-130 aircraft and many other military transports, but due to its size, it may not completely displace the Humvee in the American military’s motor pool for several years.
Oshkosh will begin delivering its JLTV in about 10 months.
Source: Oshkosh, Gale Banks Engineering