Oshkosh Defense Corporation, a division of vehicle manufacturer Oshkosh, is currently competing against Lockheed Martin and AM General for a $31 billion military contract with the Department of Defense. Competition for the elite contract is fierce, and was even referred to by Lockheed Martin as being similar to “a knife fight in a phone booth.”
The purpose and main objective of the contract is to ultimately replace thousands of military Humvees with new tactical vehicles. Oshkosh was pleased to announce that their prototype, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, completed rigorous Department of Defense evaluations, including a review of the company’s readiness to manufacture the elite tactical vehicles.
Oshkosh claims its JLTV prototype was able to successfully demonstrate the ability to transfer vital mission data from onboard computer systems to external networks. The vehicle was tested at the U.S. Army’s Electronic Proving Ground at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Thus far, Oshkosh is said to have passed every test in JLTV program, including the on-time delivery of 22 prototype vehicles, and an in-depth design review.
The military intends to purchase 50,000 of the tactical vehicles, each costing $250,000. The Marine Corps is set to purchase 5,500, making this the largest pending contract for tactical military vehicles in the near future, according to defense industry analysts.
The JLTVs are set to eventually replace the Humvee entirely, and are expected to offer better protection from IEDs, or improvised explosive devices. These devices have killed a large number of troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
The new vehicle aligns with the military’s need for protection against roadside bombs. Warfare has dramatically changed, with standard force-on-force fighting being a thing of the past. Guerilla military tactics have made modern warfare increasingly unpredictable and dangerous.
Additionally, the replacements are expected to be up to 70% faster and more maneuverable than other tactical armored vehicles while still maintaining a higher level of protection.
The tactical vehicle contract is set to be awarded in July of next year, with limited production beginning shortly thereafter.
Aside from the JLTV, the military employs a range of other tactical gear and weapons, including tactical tomahawks and knives. Though often regarded as self-defense, or CQC (close quarters combat) weapons, tactical tomahawks and knives are multipurpose tools used for a variety of purposes and tasks. They are often used in breaching, or search and rescue operations. For some branches of the military, they come standard in a troop’s arsenal of gear, and commonly used in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“A number of personnel carry tomahawks inside tactical army vehicles in order to get themselves out in the event of an emergency, such as a flipped car. It is a great lightweight breaching rescue or extraction tool,” says Richard Carmack, COO of RMJ Tactical.