Though the venerable Humvee has loyally served the U.S. armed forces in numerous conflicts the world over and inspired GM’s now-defunct Hummer brand, the multi-purpose vehicle is overdue for a replacement. Several defense companies will submit proposals in hopes of winning the massive government contract including BAE Systems and Navistar Defense, both of which have recently announced plans to compete for the right to build the Humvee successor.
BAE Systems plans to submit its proposal for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program. The company says it kept the best elements that resulted from its Technology Development phase and applied them to the EMD prototype (pictured at right). BAE Systems also announced the vehicle will be powered by the same Power Stroke 6.7-liter turbodiesel V-8 found in Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks. The company says this engine was chosen for its class-leading fuel economy and power, and believes it will be a great fit for its JLTV bid.
Navistar Defense will submit a variant of its Saratoga light tactical vehicle, launched last October. Originally conceived to fill a gap in the light tactical vehicle market, the Saratoga is a flexible platform designed with multi-role use and affordability in mind. Navistar says the vehicle has a high degree of commonality with the vehicles already in the field, as you can see from the photo at top, and has been designed and tested according to the company’s own survivability solution, which considers material mix, vehicle structure, and hull shape.
According to BAE Systems, the government plans to award up to three EMD contracts this June. The EMD phase requires each candidate to deliver 22 prototype vehicles, along with accompanying equipment, for testing.
Though the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind, if a Humvee replacement is more effective at keeping our troops alive, we’re all for it. We just hope the winner gets a name that’s as cool and memorable as “Humvee.”
Source: BAE Systems, Navistar Defense