With a requirement for more than 17,000 vehicles, the Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicle might have a serious impact on many export markets. (Oshkosh Defense)
quite controversial, some light armoured vehicles programmes are being launched in various countries. If structural weight is a problem in all vehicles, as it heavily affects the ratio between curb weight and payload, it becomes even more a problem in the “light” category. The European Defence Agency has started in December 2015 a project on lightweight vehicles, Germany being the lead nations the other being Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Beside governmental experts from member States, ten industrial and research entities took part in the 16 December kick off meeting, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Airborne, Camattini Meccanica, CeiiA Centre of Engineering and Innovation, Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (IABG), IVECO, Scania Netherland, Tecnalia, TNO and UROVESA. Known as L-AMPV for Lightweight constructions for Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicles, the project aims at delivering detailed information (material, weight, size and price) of vehicle components and parts currently used, determining the items which contribute most weight and recommending how to reduce the weight of these parts taking into account the need for the solution to last throughout the life-cycle of the system. Coming to vehicles, it is obvious that in terms of numbers what happens in the US has always an impact on the world market, and the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) will not make an exception, when it will become available through the Foreign Military Sales programme. The JLTV bid has seen Oshkosh Defense succeeding, selection being announced in August 2015, and work is now underway after in mid February 2016 a US Court of Federal Claims judge rejected Lockheed Martin’s legal action. The overall value of the contract should reach 6.7 billion US$ should all the 17,000 vehicles planned be acquired. Based on Oshkosh Core 1080 crew protection system and fitted with the company TAK-4i intelligent independent suspensions and NET Ready vectronic architecture, the JLTV having a curb weight of less than 6,350 kg and a GVW of 10,886 kg. It will be available in 2-seat and 4-seat (plus gunner) configurations, the former in the utility version, the latter
in the general purpose version, with two sub-variants, general purpose and heavy weapon carrier, and in the close combat weapons carrier version. The payload for the 2-seater is 2,313 kg while the 4-seater can carry an extra 1,588 kg. Designed to travel 20% on-road and 80% off-road, the JLTV has a scalable armour package that can reach MRAP levels of protection, details remaining classified. Powered by a Banks 866T turbo diesel based on General Motors Duramax V-8 architecture, coupled to an Allison 2500SP six speed automatic transmission, the exact output of the powerpack remaining unknown. Maximum speed is of over 113 km/h while cruising range exceeds 480 km. In March 2016 Oshkosh Defense was awarded a first contract for 657 vehicles with 2,977 related kits and support, low-rate initial production being planned until 2019, when full rate production will start until 2023, the Army looking at a total of 49,099 JLTVs while the US Marine Corps should acquire 5,000 such vehicles. Coming to Europe, France should announce in 2017 the choice for the VBMR Léger (Véhicule Blindé MultiRôle), the 10-12 tonne armoured vehicle that will equip the Force Interarmée de Réaction Immédiate (FIRI). The FIRI is the joint immediate reaction force, also known as Échelon National d’Urgence, which should deploy a 2,300 men contingent at 3,000 Km from France in seven days. The VBMR Léger will probably be a derivative of an existing vehicle, a key requirement being that two vehicles can be deployed by a single A400M. Scorpion Phase 1 will include 200 such vehicles, the total requirement that will be fulfilled with Phase 2 being 358. The vehicle will also be provided to ISTAR units, as well as to Electronic Warfare and Signal units for the deployment of tactical components. A 4x4 vehicle, the VBMR Léger will be obviously fitted with the SICS. If France, as probable, will opt for a national solution, the obvious
Oshkosh Defense JLTV’s assembly line; full rate production for the US Army and the USMC should start in late 2019. (Oshkosh Defense) EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement
In this special Eurosatory 2016 supplement, Paolo Valpolini discusses both wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles.