The Army's newly-fielded Joint Light Tactical Vehicle was supposed to be a worthy successor to the Humvees that so many veterans derided as "death traps" during the Global War on Terror, an up-armored modular infantry vehicle bristling with weapons.
But according to a Pentagon report, the new vehicles may prove as much of a headache for soldiers than vehicle it sought to replace.
Nearly four years after the Army settled on Oshkosh to produce a next-generation replacement for the troubled Humvee, a few lucky soldiers from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division are finally going to get their paws on the much-hyped Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
After enjoying years of the Air Force dominating the skies in the fight against the Islamic militants in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, the Army is beefing up its short-range missile-defense capabilities to counter the rockets, missiles, and weaponized drones that are increasingly becoming staples of foreign arsenals. And while the return of active-duty maneuver SHORAD battalions for the first time since the end of the Cold War is part of Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley’s strategic emphasis on a “combined arms, multi-domain capable” Army, the tactical implications are far more appealing: a bunch of new, explosive toys to play with.
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is meant to be everything the Humvee is not: It’s designed by Oshkosh Defense to withstand the ground-based IED attacks early on in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that had forced Humvees to armor up, reducing payloads and performance, and slowing brigades to a crawl. With a modular design to accommodate armor plating fit for an MRAP, Oshkosh hopes the first 600 JLTVs, set for fielding by the Army and Marine Corps in early 2019, will represent a quantum leap forward for the Department of Defense’s light truck fleet.