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15 février 2015 7 15 /02 /février /2015 12:45
U.S. Army M-ATV

U.S. Army M-ATV


February 11, 2015: Strategy page


The United States is providing the 21,000 AU (African Union) peacekeepers in Somalia with twenty MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles to provide peacekeepers with additional protection while patrolling areas where mines and roadside bombs are still a problem. These MRAPs will replace older (late 1980s vintage) and lighter Casspir vehicles. These are from South Africa which is where the modern MRAP design was invented and for over a decade Casspir vehicles were among the best MRAP type vehicles you could get.


The U.S. is apparently providing a much newer design, the M-ATV (MRAP-All Terrain Vehicle) to the Somalia peacekeepers. These are refurbished after service in Afghanistan and more can be sent if needed. M-ATV is a 15 ton, 4x4 (with independent wheel suspension) armored vehicle. Payload is 1.8 tons, and it can carry five passengers (including a gunner). Top speed is 105 kilometers an hour, and road range on internal fuel is 515 kilometers. The M-ATV is slightly larger than a hummer. An M-ATV costs about $800,000, not including transportation. It cost about $150,000 each to fly one into Afghanistan.


The M-ATV design was heavily influenced by earlier American experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. This includes much better off road capabilities. After 2009 several thousand M-ATVs were sent to Afghanistan and troops found that the M-ATV can safely handle a lot of cross country travel that would be dangerous for a conventional MRAP. But, like taking a tracked vehicle (like a tank) off road, you can't just drive it anywhere. Even a tracked vehicle will flip, or lose a track (hit an obstacle that will tear the tracks from the wheels) if you don't drive carefully. Same deal with the M-ATV. Off the road, this is a more stable and forgiving MRAP, and commanders are coming up with new tactics to take advantage of it. The enemy can no longer assume all MRAPs will stay on the road.


The M-ATV design improved on the fact that all other MRAPs were, after all, just heavy trucks. The basic MRAP capsule design produces a high center of gravity that makes the vehicles prone to flipping over easily. They are also large vehicles, causing maneuverability problems when going through narrow streets. Most MRAPs don't have a lot of torque, being somewhat underpowered for their size. And, being wheeled vehicles, they are not very good at cross country movement (especially considering the high center of gravity.) The M-ATV was designed to deal with all of these problems.


The rush to get MRAPs to Afghanistan is all about reducing casualties. Anyone in these vehicles is much less likely to be killed by a roadside bomb. The math is simple. If all the troops who encountered these bombs were in a MRAP, casualties would be about 65 percent less. About two-thirds of all casualties in Afghanistan are from roadside bombs. Thus these vehicles reduced overall casualties by about a third.

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28 août 2013 3 28 /08 /août /2013 11:20
JLTV source US Army

JLTV source US Army

August 28, 2013: Strategy Page


The U.S. Army recently received the first 66 prototypes of the JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle), which will eventually replace the current HMMWV vehicles. Three manufacturers (Lockheed, Oshkosh and AM General) each provided 22 versions of their interpretation of the design specification. The three JTLV designs all look like improvements on the HMMWV, which is basically what they are. AM General was behind the original HMMWV. The winner of the JLTV contract will be decided after two years of testing the 66 prototypes. These cost $2.73 million each but the production models will cost about a tenth of that, depending on options added. One of these designs will be the JLTV that will enter mass production with the army initially planning to obtain 20,000 vehicles initially and the marines 5,000. The army originally planned to buy at least 38,000 of the JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle), while the marines were going to buy about 14,000. That has been scaled back by budget cuts and changes in thinking about how common the “Iraq model” would be for future wars.


If and when the JLTV enters production it will be the end of an era. The HMMWV (“hum-V” or “hummer”) was an iconic and revolutionary vehicle, and the most innovative military transport to show up since World War II. About half the annual sales of HMMWV vehicles went to the U.S. Army, with the rest going to other branches of the American military, and foreign customers. Over 200,000 hummers have been produced so far, in dozens of variants and versions. The army will continue to use the hummer for a decade or more after the JLTV enters service, but the unique vehicle design is now beginning to fade away.


The seven ton JLTV, which replaces the 2.4 ton HMMWV and the weight difference is the result of the JLTV being more robust and better protected. The hummer had itself replaced the 1.1 ton jeep and the 3 ton M37 "3/4 ton" truck in the 1980s. The JLTV marks a notable design direction for tactical vehicles. The JLTV is designed to absorb combat damage, and be quickly equipped with two different armor kits. In effect, the World War II concept of the unarmored light vehicle for moving men and material around the battlefield has been radically changed.


This began in Iraq, where it was demonstrated that you can fight your way through a hostile population on a regular basis and defeat a guerilla force constantly attacking your tactical and logistical vehicles. This has never worked before but it worked this time, in part because U.S. troops promptly armored their hummers and trucks, and quickly developed "road warrior" tactics that defeated roadside and suicide bombs. Even though these bombs created a lot of American casualties, the American casualty rate was a third of what it was in Vietnam and World War II. This was in large part because of the armored hummers and trucks. Few people outside the military noted this event, a watershed moment in military history. But it was recognized within the military, and produced this sharp shift in design philosophy for tactical trucks, and the result is the JLTV.


The U.S. Army began replacing the World War II era vehicles with the HMMWV (humvee or "hummer") in 1985. This was the first new unarmored combat vehicle design since World War II (when the jeep and ¾ ton truck was introduced), and was expected to last for three decades or more. But that plan changed once Iraq was invaded. As expected, hummers wore out a lot more quickly (in five years) in combat, than during peacetime use (14 years). So the army and marines began developing, ahead of schedule, a new vehicle to supplement the hummer in combat zones.


In addition to being built to better survive mines and roadside bombs, the JLTV will be able to generate 30 kw of electricity (for operating all the new electronic gear, and recharging batteries), have an automatic fire extinguishing system and jam-resistant doors. Like the hummer, JLTV will be easy to reconfigure, for everything from a four seat, armed scout vehicle, to an ambulance, command vehicle or cargo or troop transport.


The hummer will continue to be used outside of the combat zone, where most troops spend most of their time. But the JLTV will be built to better handle the beating vehicles take in the combat zone, including a design that enables troops to quickly slide in armor and Kevlar panels to make the vehicles bullet and blast proof.

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14 mai 2013 2 14 /05 /mai /2013 11:20
Oshkosh Preparing For CANSEC 2013

May 12, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch


Some details from Oshkosh about its plans for the upcoming CANSEC 2013, the military equipment trade show that takes place in Ottawa at the end of the month:


Oshkosh will have three vehicles on display – the Oshkosh HEMTT A4, the Oshkosh Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV), and the Oshkosh Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) 6×6.


The likely Oshkosh submission for Canada’s Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) Standard Military Pattern (SMP) program is based on the leading-edge HEMTT platform, which has accumulated more than one billion real-word operational kilometres in a full range of mission profiles. The Oshkosh L-ATV was one of three vehicles downselected in the current phase of the U.S. military’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program, which will replace a portion of its HMMWV fleet as vehicles reach the end of their service lives. Oshkosh will also have a virtual trainer kiosk featuring the HEMTT A4 LHS Virtual Trainer.

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