Life Auto US Army unveils new tanks – they’re not cheap

US Army unveils new tanks – they’re not cheap

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The US Army has revealed its replacement for the Humvee following a long and drawn out procurement process that took years.

Called the Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV for short, the winning vehicle went up against tough competition from Humvee’s builder AM General and airplane and weaponry manufacturing giant Lockheed Martin.

Each competing party had to submit a total of 22 fully operational prototypes to be tested and blown up by the US military before they chose the winner.

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The Oshkosh won, in the words of the company’s president, retired Army Major General John M. Urias, because it “provides the ballistic protection of a light tank, the underbody protection of an MRAP-class vehicle, and the off-road mobility of a Baja racer.”

Oshkosh famously raced one of its armoured vehicles in the Baja 1000 desert endurance race back in 2010.

US army tank
It may be huge, but off road this baby goes fast. Photo:

Unlike the Humvee there are no plans for a civilian vehicle. Fully loaded, the JLTV will cost the US taxpayers around $540,000.

Back in 2011 it was reported by CNN that AM General sold its Humvees for a unit price of around $95,000.

The huge increase in the purchase price for the new Oshkosh JLTV is because it has been designed to be more ‘survivable’ and resistant to land mines, grenades missiles and improvised explosives.

Oshkosh now has to wait for both AM General and Lockheed to appeal the decision to the Pentagon before being allowed to go ahead with full-scale production.

Over its lifetime, the US Army is expected to purchase up to 55,000 JLTVs, following an initial order of 17,000 vehicles.

In comparison, since 1984, AM General has built 280,000 Humvees.

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