As heavy combat vehicle programs are idling, modernization of the tactical vehicles is in progress, as the Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command plan to replace and reset their fleet of High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (). Two vehicles classes are currently underway – the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle ( ), equipping the Army and US Marine Corps, and the Ground Mobility Vehicle ( ) 1.1 – replacing the HMMWVs operated by the Special Operations Command.
Even when the JLTV is fielded, HMMWVs will still be around, and require ongoing sustainment and support. AM General, the vehicle manufacturer and one of the three finalists for JLTV is also offering a new version of the HMMWV designed for special operations. The HMMWV based GMV, positioned by the company as the ‘next generation vehicle’, which takes the original GMV 1.0 (HMMWV) to the next level of performance, mobility and transportability (it is designed for internal transportation in the CH/MH-47 Chinook). This HMMWV is powered by a GEP 3200 diesel supporting 300 miles operating range. This version has a lower curb weight and higher gross vehicle weight (GVW), compared to the GMV 1.0. It has full independent suspension for all-terrain mobility, off-road and on road. The vehicle has six articulated weapon mounts and greater stowage capacity, and, along with sustainable highway speed of 80 mph and high dash speed, is well positioned to answer special ops requirements.
AM General is not the only company showing vehicles for the GMV 1.1 selection. In fact, all the competitors that are still among the qualified finalists for the programs were there – BAE-Northrop Grumman team that launched the new MAV-L, ccustom built prototype developed specifically for the GMV 1.1 program by racing specialist Pratt Miller., with the Specter, Oshkosh defense unveiled the at the Modern Day Marine event, Defense displayed their pick-up sized ‘Special Operations Tactical Vehicle ( ) at and the
Absent of other new starts in the Army tactical vehicle arena, SOCOM is attracting much interest among tactical vehicle manufacturers. Apart from the GMV 1.1 program that sees the acquisition of at least 1,300 vehicles over the next seven years, SOCOM also plans to buy hundreds of additional special purpose off-road vehicles for long range recon missions, personnel extraction and other special missions. Required to be even more maneuverable and agile than the GMV, these vehicles are attracting specialty vehicle providers such as HDT, Flyer defense (teamed with General Dynamics) and Polaris Defense – all were present at this year’sand MDM. Designed as a ‘low profile’ vehicle, ’s could be applied for several SOCOM programs – including GMV 1.1.