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Oshkosh Bids L-ATV for JLTV EMD Phase

JLTV: And then there were SIX?

Oshkosh Defense is offering the latest generation of its Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) as its solution for the engineering manufacturing & development (EMD) phase of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program.

Although Oshkosh did not receive one of the three JLTV Technology Development (TD) phase contract awards made in late 2008, John Bryant, vice president and general manager of Joint and Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense, described how the company continued to pursue the technologies supporting the L-ATV offering.

“Oshkosh has spent over $80 million in light tactical vehicle developments,” he said. “We have developed and evolved six generations of our L-ATV and we have run that vehicle through the most robust and challenging testing possible. In just mission profile testing we have accumulated over 26,000 miles. So as we designed and developed an integrated solution for the JLTV requirement and modified that solution as the requirement evolved and as we learned from our developmental generations we have produced a production-ready vehicle that meets the JLTV program requirements right now! In fact, it exceeds many of them.”

“JLTV deals with the evolution of the threats on the modern battlefield and the nature of the threat becoming less predictable; the operating environments becoming more rugged; and the need for the warfighting customer to have a generational leap in light tactical vehicle protected mobility,” he explained. “And that’s really what our L-ATV represents. We’ve spent a decade ‘in theater’ and we have applied that decade of experience from our heavy, medium and MRAP [mine resistant ambush protected] fleets. Based on that experience our engineers have designed in advanced vehicle technologies, scalable modular armor solutions, and a total integrated system solution to provide protected mobility that meets or exceeds the JLTV program requirements – and is ready today.”

Oshkosh L-ATV desert

The L-ATV leverages lessons learned with the M-ATV now being operated by U.S. forces, as well as other development work, Oshkosh says. Photo courtesy of Oshkosh Defense

“Oshkosh has spent over $80 million in light tactical vehicle developments,” he said. “We have developed and evolved six generations of our L-ATV and we have run that vehicle through the most robust and challenging testing possible. In just mission profile testing we have accumulated over 26,000 miles. So as we designed and developed an integrated solution for the JLTV requirement and modified that solution as the requirement evolved and as we learned from our developmental generations we have produced a production-ready vehicle that meets the JLTV program requirements right now! In fact, it exceeds many of them.”

Bryant said that the L-ATV also includes “a powertrain solution that offers scalable power solutions, superb fuel efficiency, and expandability in case the requirements evolve over time for the JLTV program – as they often do for most programs.”

Bryant characterized overall L-ATV vehicle design as “based around a combination of state-of-the-art protection technologies that leverage directly from our experience on the M-ATV [MRAP All Terrain Vehicle] program and the success that the M-ATV has experienced in theater. We have applied those technologies to our L-ATV and taken them to the next level. On our L-ATV, that expertise and survivability technologies are actually packaged in scalable, modular protection packages that allow the operating forces customer to configure the vehicle to match his mission profile. We have integrated that force protection solution with our ‘next generation’ TAK-4i ‘intelligent’ independent suspension system.”

The Oshkosh TAK-4 suspension is already fielded on over 20,000 military vehicles. The TAK-4i expands those capabilities, delivering capabilities like 20 inches of independent wheel travel (about 25 percent more than other vehicles currently fielded), allowing superior ride qualities over extremely challenging terrain.

Oshkosh L-ATV dunes

The L-ATV uses the Oshkosh TAK4i improved independent suspension system, delivering some 20 inches of wheel travel, as well as other technology developments. Photo courtesy of Oshkosh Defense

Bryant said that the L-ATV also includes “a powertrain solution that offers scalable power solutions, superb fuel efficiency, and expandability in case the requirements evolve over time for the JLTV program – as they often do for most programs.”

“We also offer an optional ProPulse diesel electric powertrain for our L-ATV,” he added. “And while that doesn’t represent a requirement right now for the JLTV program we have in fact developed, tested, and proven that system, which provides outstanding power; outstanding efficiency; and at the same time allows the vehicle to produce export power of up to 70 kW of military grade power.”

“Our L-ATV approach was holistic from the ground up,” echoed Rob Messina, vice president of engineering for Oshkosh Defense. “John mentioned that we leveraged a lot of technologies, but I think if you were to take a particular focus area I would point to the fact that we learned a lot with the M-ATV and the development of the underbody improvement kit for the M-ATV. And we leveraged many of those lessons into our base approach for the L-ATV. That efficiency is what has paved the way to unprecedented levels of protected mobility. There’s no doubt about it. It is a very efficient package built on a lot of lessons learned. It’s like taking the best of the best when you start and putting them all together to end up with a great solution.”

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...