Oshkosh showcases JLTV entry, L-ATV

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

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to Military.com. He can be reached at mhoffman@tandemnsi.com.
  • Giovanni Bagnus

    Please, where is the video?

  • Giovanni Bagnus

    OK, found it.

  • blight_

    What is Lockheed’s entry into JLTV?


  • Tradoc Tanker

    I mean it’s cool and all, but it’s still pretty freaking big. I think whatever replaces the HMMWV should be about the same size of the HMMWV, like the J8 or something.

    • blight_

      Especially considering how the Humvee was considered large compared to preceding CUCV and M151.

      Perhaps it’s time to replace the “middle-sized” Humvee with a lighter vehicle and a heavier cousin. However, I suspect we will be operating in areas with dirt roads (as opposed to “off-roading” in the civilian context)

    • Jeff M

      You can’t make a small vehicle mine resistent. It needs mass in order to effectively deflect or absorb the blast.

    • bmart.

      I traditionally like Oshkosh for land systems bids, and I do like their bid for the JLTV(especially due to its lighter weight), but at the same time, I have to agree with Tradoc on the size issue. I think there’s a size threshold where once you cross it, mobility suffers. Also, as blight pointed out, I think over the next decade or two, with our increased presence in SE Asia and the possibility of an intervention in Syria, terrain will not be as harsh as it will in A-Stan.

      One of the best attributes of the humvees that we need to look to emulate in the JLTV program (in my eyes) is the relatively low-profile(I feel that most of these bids are exceedingly top heavy) and not being much bigger than your average SUV.

      Just my 2 cents.
      Regardless, I always enjoy a good post on land systems XD

      • bmart.


        as it was in A-stan*

  • Tad

    Can’t see over the hood to what’s in front of the vehicle. Perhaps a boxer-style engine would help reduce the hood height… Otherwise video cameras hooked up to a nice bright monitor inside the vehicle are needed.

    • blight_

      To some degree, this is true of most vehicles. I guess one could shift the engine to under the cab, like on some 18 wheelers. However, vehicle height increases to unacceptable levels, and may present complications when rockets start flying. The engine would either shield the crew or contribute shrapnel to the interior….

    • Doc Huck

      So obviuosly youve never been inside an M-ATV. Theres is a camera than is part of the vehicle’s BII that inclues the moveable camera with day/night capapbility and a drop down screen that mounts where the driver’s sunvisor would normally go. With the suspended seats the view is pretty damn good. If this vehicle has half the off road capability that our M-ATV’s had in Afghanistan then it will be a good buy.

      • kie

        From what I saw while I was in it , it was pretty difficult to see out of. Mostly while going down the slope but I am unaware of any adjustments the driver and/or passengers can make to improve the view. I was just there for the ride.

  • Lance

    Glad the US companies own over the Euro zone. H however the designs are all too BIG and bulky for the job. A small maneuverable vehicles is needed. more wasted money we dont have.

  • Franco

    Science & technology entails: invention, patent & innovation, what’s better than a humvee category, must have it’s virtual advantages; not withstanding, buyers have to make their choices!

  • Gordon

    Can we afford these at $250,000 a pop? (Probably much more when finalized.) 1.25 billion dollars, for 5,000 base vehicles, not including anything else (which would run BILLIONS more dollars.) I’ll answer my own question – NO. If these are to be REPLACEMENTS for Humvee’s, definitely not. As additions, in smaller numbers – possibly. In WWII the Germans had a Schwimmwagen which had a bathtub type steel body no doubt resistant to mines compared to their Kubelwagen “jeep.” Weight – 2000 pounds. Size – similar to US Jeep. Cost – cheap, it was Volkswagen. Just say’n, time for out-of-the-box thinking. GPS-controlled, 7-ton, 4 MPG vehicles just don’t seem smart, at this time. To commit a multi-billion system NOW, just seems over-the-top. At least with B-52’s we have gotten DECADES use out of them. How long will our latest ground-based toys be in service?

    • blight_

      So you want to go back to Jeeps?

      I’m kind of leaning towards going with armed dune buggies, like Chenowith’s DPV product. However, they would not be intended for occupation duty.

      As for costs, there’s also the human cost. And the costs related to the human cost:what is the cost in death benefits for the four guys in a Humvee when it gets blown to bits?

    • Tiger

      $250,000 a pop? I expect a Bentley GT or at least Speed Racer’s Mach 5. Before we spend dime one, find somebody to take those MRAPS off the lots.

      • blight_

        Sure, sell ’em to law enforcement agencies. Never know when those anarchists will decide to build IEDs. It’s unlikely they would ever hit a mine in law enforcement.

        More likely than not, they would see service as intimidation vehicles. DEA, SWAT teams, BICE, DHS…

        • tiger

          My town is bad, but not that bad. The 9mm luger is still prefered over C4 for most bad guys. Nor can a State trooper catch many speeders in a Mrap. I’ll stil take that Mach 5 for the money. Saw blades, a mirco UAV, Sub mode, power jacks & a trunk big enough to hold a kid & pet monkey. Fast enough to win races as well.

          • blight_

            Every department can use their DHS grants to buy one.

            You know, the same grants they used to transition from a handguns force to one where most cars have a shotgun and an AR in the trunk. Plus federal surplus that occasionally liquidates M-113s, V-300s carrying rams…

  • Tyler

    The problem is, we’re designing everything for occupation duty. Sometimes, in a mobility war, you have to sacrifice some mine protection to gain speed and mobility (not to mention maintain other armor protection against direct fire.) These aren’t inherently bad, but not as a wholesale solution to our ground based mobility.

    • blight_

      Agreed. Though in an era of rocket-launchable scatterable mines, and city fighting where an enemy may have the opportunity to prepare an area with mines and IEDs, mine protection may not be a bad thing.

      • Tyler

        To an extent, but all this v-hull requirement, MRAP style protection level, doesn’t lend itself to a mobile war. I can’t see these being a good idea for the USMC gator fleet. They need kick the front door in and then sprint.

    • Jeff M

      Speed isn’t that important. I think one of these plus my two feet would give me all the speed and mobility I need, plus a safe place to hole up and something to carry a couple tons of weapon systems. Speed is the mistake the SR-71 and the EFV made…

      • Tyler

        I disagree completely. Speed and mobility are the key to staying alive and outmaneuvering the defenses you cannot yet overcome. Work smarter, not harder.

  • jsallison

    Check out the right rear tire during the beginning spiel…slackers.

  • Rob

    I don’t know, this vehicle impressive but i won’t classify them as “light”.

    Need to protect soldiers from harm makes pressing issue. However, its also gate way to dive the costs up. Oshkosh and Lockheed’s machines are heavy trucks. Lighter then what came before them. Are they actually suitable for irregulars?

    Costs of these machines and driving force to protect our troops is going end up with just Robotic Combat vehicles with deployable drone fighters with couple soldiers in distance.

    I hope they find balance before things go too expensive to even field soldiers in their trucks.

  • kie

    I can say one thing. I rode in it today and that is one impressive beast. I have never seen a vehicle of that size do what that thing can do. At one point I was sure it would roll with what they were putting it through and I realized that even if it did I wasn’t going anywhere. I had no fear because its a tank. The speeds it can do and turns it can take on grass and mud is unbelievable. I am prior military and believe this is an awesome future to be looking at!

  • Bellcross

    Gotta love all the so called experts in the comments here trying to tell the military what kind of vehicles it needs.

    • blight_

      Going into Bosnia/Serbia people grumbled about mine protection, and noted only the MP versions were uparmored, and that the MP’s have ASV’s that could survive IEDs (back then, no acronym).

      I’d have to recheck Armor, because I /think/ people internal but outside of the decision making system had already noted the deficiency. Then there’s the usual fringers like Sparks and Meyer, the former advocating the M113 (which had mine kits in Vietnam, but never encountered an enemy quite like the Iraq insurgency and double-stacked anti-tank mines…)

  • Gordon

    All of us “experts” are Americans (probably), most of us are prior service or current service (probably), and yes, sir, we DO tell the military what to do and what it needs, and are intelligent enough to decide. In the United States, the military is supposed to be subordinate to the civilian government. When the military tells the citizens what it will do, that’s when we know we are living in a dictatorship. Discussion in a forum like this is allowed because the civilian government still controls the military bureaucracy. When it is no longer allowed, you may be assured that we are no longer a free people.

  • TomUK

    Looks like a camel to me – (the definition of ‘camel’ being “A horse designed by a committee”).

  • John Tillson

    How does this compare to a modernized M113? I bet a modern M113 will cost less and meet a wider mission spectrum. I used M113 ACAVs in Vietnam and have yet to see a more versatile infantry vehicle.

    • Doc Huck

      Yes the 113 is a beast. My first vehicle to be responsibl for 11 years ago was a 577 ambulance variant. But the terrain we had in a-stan the 113 wouldnt last. even with the all rubber tracks they would wear very quickly. the falt bottom sits too low to the ground for the i.e.d. threat. My friends were in a M-ATV that hit three anti-tank mines stacked on top of each other. The v-shaped hull high off the ground, along with the suspension parts that are designed to fly away along with the internal and external fire suppression systems kept them alive.it probably would have flipped a 113 over a couple of times.