Defense Media Network


Building the Perfect Beast

Teamed with Navistar Defense LLC, BAE Systems announced its $40.5 million, 27-month TD award, highlighting the team’s solution, dubbed “Valanx.”

The team release described Valanx as “a family of V-hulled, blast-resistant vehicles that optimize what’s referred to as the ‘iron triangle’ – payload, protection, and performance – to meet all requirements of the JLTV program. There are several variations of the Valanx designed to meet scouting, general mobility, infantry carrying, ambulatory, and other needs for combat troops.

“The Valanx design incorporates lessons learned from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle program and features the latest in lightweight, advanced armor and a V-shaped hull design to provide unmatched crew protection. The vehicle will out-perform existing tactical systems by providing exportable power that exceeds JLTV requirements and existing MRAP capabilities. Its modular design maximizes commonality across JLTV variants and enables the seamless integration of future technologies,” it added.

During the TD phase, the team will submit seven prototype vehicles and four trailers for evaluation and testing by the Army.

Initial schedules called for vehicle models for the various Valanx variations to be designed and fabricated during 2009 and tested in 2010, leading to the selection of two teams for a JLTV system development and demonstration (SDD, Milestone B) in 2011.

“We have matured our concept through a full year of engineering, prototyping, and testing, and incorporated real operational lessons from MRAP. As a result, we believe we have an agile yet highly protected vehicle that is very close to being fielded in the war fight,” said Raj Rajagopal, president of BAE Systems, Land & Armaments Systems, Ground Systems Division. “From the human engineered crew compartment to the advanced ballistic hull, every part of our JLTV prototype was built with the soldier and Marine in mind, providing unmatched survivability and mission effectiveness.”

“We believe the Valanx provides the foundation for a family of vehicles that will offer unmatched strength, protection, and support for the warfighter for decades to come,” said Kevin Thomas, director of product creation for Navistar Defense, an affiliate of Navistar International Corporation. “Our team is eager to move forward and continue our partnership with the joint services as they determine the best tactical vehicle solution for our men and women in uniform.”

The team also includes Arvin Meritor to manufacture the lightweight independent suspension and drivetrain solutions for the Valanx.

Likewise, General Tactical Vehicles (GTV), a joint venture between General Dynamics Land Systems and AM General, announced their team’s $45 million TD contract by highlighting “The innovative GTV JLTV design, [which] features a robust lightweight hybrid hull, semi-active suspension system, digital cockpit, and over 95 percent common components across the entire JLTV family of vehicles.

“The GTV solution meets or exceeds the JLTV protection, payload and performance requirements, offering a low-risk, innovative, adaptable family of vehicles and trailers with commonality of components exceeding 95 percent, resulting in speed to production and low life-cycle cost,” said Don Howe, GTV senior program director.

“The GTV JLTV design ensures capability growth opportunities and planned product improvements and the GTV Team’s significant experience with deployed global forces provides a unique and valuable insight to the needs of the warfighter. The GTV Team offers our customer the optimum combination of survivability, innovation, performance, reliability, supportability, and affordability,” he said.

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