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This Scaled-Down Armored Truck Could Be the Next Humvee


Humvees, produced by contractor AM General, weren't really designed as combat vehicles, and offer little protection to occupants against improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades. Since those proved to be major threats in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military hurriedly ordered armor upgrades that could be fitted to existing Humvees, but ruined its valuable off-road capabilities. It put more money into large, heavy, and expensive mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, which are hugely successful at protecting occupants but too big for many mission profiles.

Now, with the war in Iraq over (sort of) and combat in Afghanistan winding down, the DoD can spend its time and money on a new, major acquisition: the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), the machine that will replace the venerable but outdated Humvee.

One of the frontrunners going after the $9.4 billion contract to design and produce that replacement is the Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corporation, which calls its vehicle the Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle. The L-ATV (Oshkosh is fluent in acronym-obsessed military parlance) is the faster little brother to its popular MRAP, the M-ATV.

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