Fierce Competition: Who Will Replace The HMMWVE?
|   Monday, June 11, 2012
From 2015 onwards the US military will begin replacing the faithful, but old, HMMWVE, otherwise known as the Humvee. 18,500 vehicles will have to be replaced, and since the money involved in all this will reach very high amounts, the competition is extremely fierce.

According to Autoweek, 6 proposals are in the game right know. They have little time to get any loose ends in order as the starting date for the 5 billion dollars program is this July.
Note that this is only a preliminary phase. 3 winners will be decided upon. With the funds allocated for this phase reaching 65 million dollars, equipment suppliers have every interest to be selected.

The winners will have to invest that money in preproduction engineering, manufacturing and developing the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
Once this is over with, the next step will be to submit prototypes for military testing, to see if practice agrees with theory.
So, let's see what the vehicles are all about.

The Lockheed JLTV
The renowned company wants to get its hands deep in the honey jar. Their design was accepted, but a few modifications were deemed necessary to be made to the vehicle by military officials. This translates into a cost drop as several expensive and rare elements, like titanium, have been used in moderation. The team behind this project includes Meritor Defense and Vehma International of America Inc, suburban Detroit, as well as L-3 Combat Propulsion Systems of Muskegon, Michigan.

The Valanx
BAE Systems is behind this vehicle, a unit that has stood witness to a few modifications since its initial development. Previously, the vehicle was propelled by a Navistar engine, but this was dropped in favor of a PowerStroke 6.7 liter turbocharged diesel engine from Ford Motor.

Lending a hand with the engine system integration work are the guys from Roush Enterprises Inc., suburban Detroit. They have managed to reduce the vehicle's weight down to the imposed military standards. BAE is also collaborating with Lockheed, but assures that no info is exchanged between the rival teams.

The Saratoga
Navistar Defense's approach to the JLTV, they took the second chance at once. Now, they hope things will go better than their first attempt. At this time, 250 employees work to perfect the engineering and preproduction work on the Saratoga, as well as dealing with engineering and preproduction work on the Saratoga.

The Eagle
General Dynamics Land Systems and AM General labored to offer the US military the vehicles the Germans have been using since 2008. Having already something to build upon, they started the necessary work and found the results to be satisfying and cheap; estimations say one vehicle will cost less than 260,000 dollars.

Oshkosh Defense built from the ground up this vehicle; it will use the Tak-4i intelligent suspension system used in over 20,000 vehicles. Furthermore, an optional ProPulse diesel-electric hybrid powertrain can be fitted in order to reduce fuel costs.

Last, but not least, AM General revealed it a month ago. The company has been supplying Humvess since the 80s so they know they job perfectly. Its tubocharged 3.2 liter engine will produce 300 horses and 500 lb-ft of torque. The British from GKN Land Systems will also give their expertise on the matter of the vehicle's drivetrain.
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