Washington: It was a long and bumpy road for the Oshkosh Corporation and its L-ATV vehicle, but this week, the Wisconsin-based US defence contractor won a gruelling three-year competition. The prize? A $6.75b contract to build the US military’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the successor to the long-serving High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, better known as the Humvee.
This initial contract calls for delivery of some 17,000 vehicles between 2018 and 2022, but it could ultimately be worth some $30b to the company, as the JLTV gradually replaces the US military’s ageing fleet of 280,000 Humvees.
It’s no small sum, but the Oshkosh JLTV is a thoroughly modern war machine, one that outperforms the Humvee in every way. Design requirements called for a new vehicle that was tougher, more capable, more versatile, easier to transport, easier to fix and above all, more protective of the soldiers and Marines who will operate it.
All it needs now is a catchy name. On that front, “Hummer” will be hard to beat.