The U.S. Army just took a big step closer to getting a brand-new, high-tech ride. Yesterday the Army announced the three companies that will continue to develop the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, a sort of blend between today’s workhorse Humvee and the bomb-resistant MRAP trucks that have saved so many lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lockheed Martin, AM General and Oshkosh Defense each received around $30 million to refine their JLTV prototypes ahead of a final selection 27 months from now.
Archived posts from category ‘Vehicles’
Photos: Death Throes of Soviet Tanks
From the always-fun English Russia, a photo gallery featuring Soviet tanks destroyed in battle in World War II.
The Army’s next truck should be smart, flexible, user-friendly, partially autonomous and affordable. In other words, the automotive equivalent of a gadget from Apple. At a trade conference in Virginia on Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Stephen Farmen, the chief of U.S. Army transportation, held up an iPhone. “How do we put the kind of power and technology like this into a wheeled vehicle and hit the right price point?” Farmen asked, according to a report by National Defense.
After I wrote about being bombed while riding in a MaxxPro Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle in Afghanistan, a representative of the vehicle’s manufacturer emailed me to ask if I would mind answering a few questions for the company newsletter.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A 10-minute drive away from the Alamo, small teams on the factory floor of Texas Armoring Corporation work deliberately, turning everyday civilian vehicles into armored workhorses for the world’s governments and business executives. The company is growing rapidly, and one reason is Mexico’s drug war.
According to Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan is planning on slashing the number of main battle tanks from a 790 to 400. The cuts would result in a savings of just over a billion dollars annually, which would then go towards reinforcing the Nansei islands. This would result in a national tank force less than half stipulated in the 1995 defense planning guidelines.
Danger Room: Gears of Comedy
If you’ve ever seen Armando Iannucci’s brilliant political satire In the Loop, a film with strong Danger Room ties, you might recognize L.A.-based comedian Johnny Pemberton. He played the very young American official assigned to receive a crass and impatient British government spin doctor (played by Peter Capaldi) during the run-up to an Iraq War-style conflict. Pemberton followed that brief but memorable performance with another gig that’s right up our readers’ alley. As host of the new MTV show Megadrive, Pemberton hilariously test-drives, and often demolishes, a wide variety of heavy vehicles, including some of the latest military hardware. Danger Room caught up with Pemberton via email.
With the latest delays, it now seems likely the Joint Strike Fighter program will take 21 years from concept to combat-readiness. And that’s all-too-typical for a major U.S. weapon program; the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and the F-22 stealth jet took just as long. These decades-long developments aren’t just a waste of time, effort, and cash. They can be self-defeating. “When systems finally reach the users, the world has changed around them,” Bill Sweetman warns at Ares. If the military isn’t careful, it could pour hundreds of billions of dollars into weapons that are obsolete the day they enter service.
by KYLE MIZOKAMI Coverage of Wednesday’s hostage drama at the Silver Spring, Maryland headquarters of the Discovery Channel produced an intriguing picture of a Mine Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicle parked outside the cable company building. This begged the obvious question: who did it belong to? The MRAP apparently belongs to the FBI. Flickr user [...]
Explosive Devices have accounted for around 800 of the roughly 1,100 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan. To counter these increasingly-lethal bombs, the U.S. military is spending billions of dollars on blast-resistant vehicles specially tailored for Afghan terrain. But in addition to their high cost, the complex new vehicles can be a logistical burden.
The Taliban had them surrounded. It was a clear, moonlit night on March 28 in Dangam district, in the Kunar River valley in eastern Afghanistan. The U.S. Army patrol, from Battle Company, Second Battalion, 503rd Infantry, was caught on a narrow road between two mountain peaks teeming with Taliban fighters. “They hit us from both sides,” First Lieutenant Cris Gasperini, the patrol leader, would recall a few days after the battle.
The age-old military problem of getting stuff from here to there over challenging terrain has tested and bested the best engineers of the Machine Age. To date the heavy diesel truck remains the tool of choice for most land-based heavylift, but that hasn’t prevented brave souls from trying out more robust vehicles of much greater capacity. Indeed, the
first army to use land trains in wartime was the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I. A young subject of the Hapsburgs, an engineer by the name of Ferdinand Porsche, designed and built the hybrid-drive (yes, that’s right) Landwehr. The vehicle was a success even if the military it served wasn’t. Dr. Porsche went on to some success in the automotive industry.