Oshkosh Defense took a gamble Wednesday when it decided to show off its offering for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle competition, the Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV), to defense reporters at a remote, off-road course just south of Quantico Marine Base.
The demo came as everyone waited for the Army and the Marine Corps’s decision on which three companies will advance to the final phase of the JLTV competition.
Just hours after the dirt settled on the course, Oshkosh’s gamble paid off. The Army and Marines selected Oshkosh, along with Lockheed Martin and AM General, to advance to the engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the competition. (Video of the ride along beyond the jump.)
There’s no way to characterize the performance of the Oshkosh LATV since none of the other competitors chose to drive journalists around in their JLTV prototypes.
There was one point on the course – as you will see in the video below – that the LATV we were riding in drives down an incline that really looked more like a drop-off from where I was sitting. If I hadn’t been riding on Oshkosh’s course, I might have been a little nervous.
Oshkosh’s L-ATV is big and muscular, just like the other JLTV prototypes. Yet Oshkosh officials maintain that it’s about half the weight of their M-ATV Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle and capable of off-road speeds up to 70 percent faster than the M-ATV.
Here is a video with John Bryant, vice president and general manager for Joint Marine Corps Programs at Oshkosh Defense, talking about the LATV.
— Matthew Cox