Hasta La Vista, Hummer, The JLTV Is On Its Way

Oshkosh Corporation, an American defence supplier, has won a substantial contract to build the replacement for the Hummer.

Oshkosh MATV. It looks like a Peugeot: wikipedia.pl
Oshkosh MATV. It looks like a Peugeot: wikipedia.pl

This isn’t the usual DTW fare, but I thought I would draw your attention to one of the more extreme ends of the wheeled-vehicle spectrum. Defense News  reported that Oshkosh  Corporation have won a $30bn dollar contract to design and build a vehicle capable of replacing the Hummer. Lockheed Martin and AM General also bid for the contract and presumably their lawyers are working around all available clocks to find a way to reverse the decision.

2015 AM-General BRV-O. It´s not as scary as the Oshkosh.
2015 AM-General BRV-O. It´s not as scary as the Oshkosh.

Shown above is the Oshkosh M-ATV which is not dissimilar to the proposed vehicle. The Hummer was found wanting in the face of the kinds of attacks the US army has faced in its usual theatre of war, the Middle East: roadside bombs, predominantly. Hummers were insufficiently armoured to withstand the kinds of devices used against them.

Workarounds included adding sheet metal and using MRAP vehicles instead. Originally the Hummer was designed as replacement for the Jeep, which was a simple tool for basic transport. Even being much wider, heavier, longer and fully enclosed, the Hummer was not sufficiently tough and yet, at the same time it was also criticised for being too expensive, heavy and heavy on fuel (12 miles per gallon).

For a period the US considered itself the sole superpower and the Hummer gained a reputation as a statement vehicle for private use. It then spawned some road-based variants (the H1), now famous as loss-making image-destroyers for GM. There was also a somewhat smaller H2 which was based on a GMC truck. The Hummer division was closed in 2010 after an attempt to sell it to a Chinese buyer. The moment had passed for that brand.

It is improbable that the JLTV will be the basis of a road-going, civilian car. The headlamp surrounds remind me somewhat of a Peugeot 505. The engine is probably something like a Caterpillar 7.2 diesel engine and it has a touring range of 320 miles. The top speed is 65 miles per hour, something I find a bit disappointing. You could imagine the fear created by such a vehicle moving at 100 mph with its 7.63 mm M320 firing at its maximum rate. Reassuringly, the vehicle can travel a kilometre even its engine cooling system has taken a direct hit. There is no information on ashtray placement.

DTW will conduct a full road test of the vehicle as soon as is practical.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

6 thoughts on “Hasta La Vista, Hummer, The JLTV Is On Its Way”

  1. If we can put aside the social and political connotations, military design holds some interest. You’d imagine that they are designed entirely as functional tools, with no though of aesthetics. But is that always so?

    How much conscious design thought goes into these things to make them look aggressive, irrespective of how effective they actually are as tools? I find the SIS (MI6) Building in London an impressive piece of architecture, since it announces its occupants intentions so well. It looks ominous and businesslike, a looming fort where unseen eyes keep watch on everything. For all I know it could actually be empty and all British spies were retired years ago, or maybe still carry on their trade from a couple of flats over Cambridge Circus, but it does its job so well in creating an impression of impassive vigilance.

    I always felt that the Humvee, to give it its military version name, looked too wide and flat to be convincing. Faced with it advancing towards my unprotected body it would certainly be intimidating, but then so would a Cadillac Escalade. Even if it had been adequately armoured, it never seemed to be, seeming far more in its element as Arnie’s California runaround. It was designed at a time when the US’s potential military involvement was less intense and it reflects that. The Oshkosh looks far more solid, but still lacks something. Possibly there are too many references to a car – really it should look like something completely alien and scary. This just emphasises the frailty of the occupants.

  2. It´s a messy looking device. All those things hanging off it don´t help. Imagine if it was nearly entirely smooth. We all know a spherical object deflects impacts better than one with flat sides.

  3. … But a heap of angled steel lumps looks more threatening than a globe.
    I often have the impression that military equipment (including vehicles) have their very own aesthetic of ugliness which also includes a good part of menace. And smoothness is what this design language wants least.

    1. https://vimeo.com/121508733 The official Oshkosh video – I can’t decide if this is supposed to look like a fictional military vehicle promo from a movie or not. But I could imagine swapping Oshkosh for Stark Industries, Wayne Enterprises or Omni Consumer Products and it would be fit for purpose.

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