Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Army’s new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), a better armed, armored amd more agile version of the venerable Humvee, will finally reach American combat infantry in January 2019.
The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), 3rd Infantry Division located at Fort Stewart, Georgia has been chosen the first combat unit to receive the JLTV. It should be fully equipped with 500 new JLTVs by the end of March.
“We’re very excited to get these trucks into the hands of our soldiers,” said Col. Mike Adams, Commander, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team. “It’s an honor to be chosen as the first unit to receive such an improved capability, and I look forward to getting it into our formations.”
The new trucks are a significant modernization success for the Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. They’re designed to replace most of the M1114 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or Humvees that entered Army service in 1984 and are still in use.
It was the many tactical disadvantages of Humvees (especially their extreme vulnerability to IEDs), which came to light in the Iraqi insurgency, that forced the Army to begin the process of developing a superior replacement in 2003.
The Army intends to buy 49,099 JLTVs for its Active, Reserve, and National Guard components. The Marine Corps plans to order more than 9,000 vehicles.
JLTV will be fielded in two variants and four mission package configurations: General Purpose; Close Combat Weapons Carrier; Heavy Guns Carrier and a Utility vehicle.
JLTV is better armored; more survivable and more comfortable replacement for the Humvee. The side and underbody armor of the JLTV are greatly superior to the Humvee, a lesson learned the hard way in Iraq and Afghanistan.
JLTV combines the tough armor of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle with the light weight of the Humvee. Its heavy, clamshell-style doors offer front and rear protection when open.
They’re also a lot more survivable than the bigger Humvees. They provide more protection and have better off-road mobility than Humvees.
The Marines expect initial operating capability for their JLTVs in 2020 when 69 JLTVs join a Marine infantry battalion. Marines expect to complete procurement of its JLTVs by 2022. ]
Army JLTVs will reach initial operating capability by mid-2019. Completion of the Army’s order for 49,000 JLTVs is expected by 2040.
Both variants of the JLTV can be armed with a variety of weapons. These include light, medium or heavy machine guns; automatic grenade launchers and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). The Army will also arm its reconnaissance JLTVs with the Hughes M230LF chain gun and the 30 mm cannon used on Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.
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