Skip to main content

Ryan Robertson

Investigative Reporter/Anchor

Share
Military

L-ATV earns spot as military’s Humvee replacement: Weapon of the week

Share

Ryan Robertson

Investigative Reporter/Anchor

Share

The High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle — or Humvee for short — was invented in 1985 and rose in popularity during the Gulf War as part of Operation Desert Storm. The Humvee still serves troops today, however, experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan spurred military leadership to ask for a replacement, leading to the Oshkosh Defense Light Combat Tactical (L-ATV).

QR code for SAN app download

Download the SAN app today to stay up-to-date with Unbiased. Straight Facts™.

Point phone camera here

The L-ATV entered active duty in 2019 with a price tag of $344,000. It is currently used by the U.S Army, the Marine Corps and the U.S. Special Operations Command.

There are four different vehicles and multiple variants available for users: the general purpose (GP), the heavy gun carrier (HGC), the utility (YTL) and the close combat weapons carrier (CCWC).

On average, each L-ATV weighs 11 tons and is comparatively easier to transport than its cousin, the M-ATV. This means it can be sling-loaded under helicopters and fit in a C-130.

The L-ATV has a range of 400 miles and a top speed of over 70 miles per hour. Even though it is mine-resistant and protected with modular armor, it can still navigate up to 60 inches of water if needed.

Each L-ATV is multifunctional and can also be configured to carry several weapons that allow troops to take the fight to the enemy. It can be fitted with light, medium and heavy machine guns, as well as automatic grenade launchers and anti-tank guided missiles.

Last year, Oshkosh went a step further and introduced the eJLTV — a hybrid that allows operators to charge the lithium-ion battery while the diesel engine is in use. The battery then allows users to drive in silent mode to help conceal the vehicle.

Access the full Weapons and Warfare episode here.

Access all Weapons and Warfare podcast episodes here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

For those of us of a certain age, it might be hard to believe Operation Desert Storm took place a little more than 33 years ago, 

[GEORGE BUSH]

Just two hours ago, Allied Air Forces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait. 

[RYAN ROBERTSON]

From that conflict, several American icons were born. Among them, General Stormin Norman Schwarzkopf, the F-117 Nighthawk and the legendary High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, otherwise known as the Humvee. How popular was the Humvee? Well, Arnold Schwarzenegger demanded he’d be sold a civilian version. And he was. 

Though it still serves our troops today, lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan spurred military leadership to ask for a new workhorse to replace the now 40 year old Humvee. Enter the Oshkosh defense Light Combat Tactical All Terrain Vehicle, or the L-ATV. After years of testing, this beast bounded into active duty in 2019. With a price tag of just $344,000, this four wheeled ferocity is currently used by the United States Army, the Marines and the U.S. Special Operations Command. 

There are four different vehicles and all kinds of variants available for users, the general purpose, the heavy gun carrier, the utility and the close combat weapons carrier. On average, each L-ATV weighs 11 tons and is comparatively easier to transport than its cousin, the M-ATV. So, it can be sling loaded under helicopters and fits inside a C-130. 

Fully fueled, the L-ATV could go 400 miles and pegs the speedometer at around 70 miles per hour. That combination of range and speed means the L-ATV is a difference maker when it comes to mission capability. But no beast is complete without a thick hide. The L-ATV is Mine Resistant and ambush protective with modular armor. It also likes to go for a dip when the opportunity presents itself. The L-ATV can navigate up to 60 inches of water even with all that armor. 

And if all that wasn’t enough to make you a fan, last year Oshkosh defense introduced the eJLTV. That’s right kids, it’s a hybrid that allows operators to charge the lithium ion battery while the diesel engine is in use. That battery that allows users to drive in silent mode. Perfect for those times when you want to sneak up on your enemy in an 11 ton vehicle. Of course, it’s more than just an SUV on steroids that can get your soldiers or Marines where they need to go. It can also be configured to carry a number of weapons, allowing troops to take the fight to the enemy.

The L-ATV can be fitted with light, medium and heavy machine guns, as well as automatic grenade launchers, anti-tank guided missiles, and honestly, I would not be surprised at all to see some containerized drone launchers on it at some point in the near future, which makes the vehicle an essential part of any modern battle plan. 

By now you might be asking yourself the same question Arnold Schwarzenegger asked all those years ago. Can I buy one? Well, surprisingly, the answer is yes. If you want one and can live with the fact it doesn’t come with armored plating or machine guns, you can have one. The civilian version is cheaper as well, all it will set you back is a cool quarter of a million dollars.