Since 1984, the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV – which we know as the Humvee – has been the go-to choice for the American Army. Its distinctive shape is known throughout the world (whether or not the people who recognize the vehicle are happy to see it is another matter entirely) and it was so popular that civilians had their own version, the Hummer H1.
Today however, the Humvee is getting long in the tooth; its design is not exactly adapted to the realities of today's battlefield and while it has been modernized, its underpinnings are getting hard to maintain.
3 years ago, the U.S. Army sent a list of requirements to defense companies in an effort to replace their troop transports. Prototypes were built, and inspectors took their time testing each and every one of them.
They just named a winner: meet the Oshkosh L-ATV (Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle), which proved it was good enough to justify a 6.75 billion (!!) dollar contract.
Powered by a 6.6 litre Duramax engine, the truck is heavily armored. According to the manufacturer, the underside is blast-proof and has been designed to resist land mines.
Two versions will be built; a four-door for troop and material transport and a two-door that will be fitted with large-caliber weapons for mobile defense.
Standard equipment includes satellite navigation and a satellite communication device. Total vehicle weight is under 7,093 kilos (15,639 pounds) so it can be lifted by helicopter.
The first L-ATVs will arrive on battlefields by 2018; that year, 17,000 vehicles will be built. 5,500 of them will go to the Marines, while the rest will be for the Army.
Oshkosh has the contract secured until 2040.