Oshkosh and Plasan USA (Bennington, Vt.) — the latter tapped to design and engineer the vehicle's composite armor system — conducted ballistic and mine-blast testing on the team's JLTV prototype. First-round results show that the JLTV design performs to all threshold capabilities and has achieved several objective-level force-protection requirements. Plasan is using what is said to be an advanced composite-technology armor system designed to maximize protection while minimizing weight.
"Northrop Grumman and Oshkosh have designed a vehicle of unique performance and protection that can provide value to the warfighter today yet is flexible enough to meet the combat requirements of tomorrow," says Joe Gray Taylor, VP of Ground Combat Systems for Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector. "We particularly took on the challenge of armor volume, applying some of our most innovative thinking to the balance of performance, protection and payload. The results of the armor testing validate our design and prove we are ready to move smartly to the next stage of the development process."
The armor testing was conducted at a testing facility in the U.S. to U.S. Army research-laboratory standards and was based on government specifications for the JLTV.
JLTV is a joint U.S. Army, USSOCOM and U.S. Marine Corps program to replace the current HMMWV (Humvee) with more survivable vehicles capable of carrying greater payloads. Although Humvee was not intended for use in armored combat, it has been serving in that capacity in current conflicts. The JLTV, therefore, is being designed specifically for that purpose. The JLTV program is separate from the FTTS (Future Tactical Truck System) program, which preceded it, but has benefited from research and development conducted for FTTS designs, where those developments can help fulfill JLTV requirements. Northrop leads one of the JLTV teams competing for production contracts as the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) nears its selection of the smaller number of competing JLTV teams that will continue into the 27-month Technology Development phase for the estimated $40 billion (USD) program. Other JLTV competing teams are led by The Boeing Co. (Chicago, Ill.), General Dynamics (Fairfax, Va.), Force Protection Inc. (Ladsden, S.C.), BAE Systems Plc (Farnborough, U.K.), Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, Md.), and The Raytheon Co. (Waltham, Mass.).
Editor PickComposite armor developments: AGY and Plasan Sasa
Plasan Sasa (Kibbutz Sasa, Israel) reported on Jan. 10 that it will supply advanced critical MRAP (mine-resistant, ambush-protected) vehicle protection for an additional 1,500 armored vehicles to U.S. firm International Military and Government LLC (a subsidiary of International Truck and Engine Corp., Warrenville,