As the Pentagon nears its selection of competing Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) teams, prospective vehicles are being completed for the planned finale. One of the candidates, the Northrop-Grumman (NYSE: NOC)/Oshkosh (NYSE: OSK) team successfully passed tests of the armor suite designed for the JLTV by Oshkosh and Plasan USA. One of the advantages of this team’s design is the use of a diesel-electric drive system, which eliminates the need for a transmission and conventional drive-train, contributing more free space to accommodate armor protection and allowing for the creation of improved blast protection for the crew.
According to the team’s announcement, their vehicle’s prototype was subjected to ballistic and mine-blast testing. The first round of testing proved the proposed armor passed all threshold capability and achieved several objective-level force-protection requirements.
Plasan is using an advanced composite-technology armor system that maximizes crew protection while keeping weight impact minimal. According to Joe Gray Taylor, vice president of Ground Combat Systems at Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems, the team’s design approach balanced between armor volume, performance, protection and payload. “The results of the armor testing validate our design and prove we are ready to move smartly to the next stage of the development process.” said Taylor.
The Defense Department is expected to decide soon which industry competitors will continue into the 27-month Technology Development phase for this $40 billion program.