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July 8, 2013

The USMC’s JLTV: Almost Light, Very Tactical

In June, the Department of Defense (DoD) held demonstrations in Quantico, VA, for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). The DoD has long been working to acquire a vehicle that is both light and tactical, but with the protection the American people have come to expect for their troops.

During the nearly twelve years since 9/11, we have been endlessly bombarded with embedded war coverage and TV reports on Iraq and Afghanistan, in which even a handful of American deaths is big news. That, combined with new technologies such as unmanned vehicles (or drones), has resulted, not surprisingly, in a public that is increasingly risk-averse.

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About the Author

served in the Marine Corps as an infantry officer and deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 with 1st Battalion, 2d Marines. Daniel led Marines as a platoon commander and a weapons company commander before leaving the Corps and now lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Christen.

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  • JHR13

    majrod Your statement above "The JLTV will not address the utility requirements of the force (yeah we are still keeping some HMMWV's) and the JLTV might defeat smaller IED's it's easy pickings for an RPG or even an EFP type EID" is interesting. The JTLV is a fighting vehicle and may be designed for a future type of warfare, but sold on the talking points in the article.

  • JHR13

    HugeFan I want all 66! Drooling here....AF buddies are digging the light weight to carry.

  • JHR13

    Excellent article Daniel. I am excited about these vehicles for all the reasons mentioned in your article as well as the possibility of less casualties. If we can have greater protection against IED's; in my mind, we just upped our game. Thank You.

  • Wingman

    Great article Dan. I wonder how much R&D has been done to lighten/strengthen with composite materials.  Spectra Shield II is not your mother's Kevlar anymore.

  • Wingman

    Virginstateofmind The HMMWV was identified early on as inadequate and there was an outcry from both troops and their families. An alternative vehicle was developed that had an effective deflector and improved ability  to withstand small arms fire but Rumsfeld wouldn't entertain it because he was invested in AM General fulfilling their contract. They scrambled to create armor kits which weighed anywhere from 1,000 lbs to over a ton making the vehicle too heavy for the suspension and hard to get in and out of. So no matter they were death traps, the politician/lbusinessman felt it was more important to drag ass and keep his contractors happy at the peril of our soldiers. The guys fighting the GWOT must have been risk averse about their health -vs- the Secretary of Defense risk averse about his cronies (therefore his own) income.