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JLTV Pathfinders: The Combat Tactical Vehicle (CTV) Technology Demonstrator

Photos: Noam Eshel

The USMC is expected to publish the JLTV request for proposal (RFP) at the beginning of the coming year, and select manufacturers for the new family of vehicles by the end of March 2008. Initial operational capability originally scheduled for 2010 was recently pushed back to 2012, as the services are focused on the acquisition of heavier and more urgently needed MRAP in the near term. However, all officials are stating that JLTV and MRAP are two different vehicles, providing for different missions. While MRAP is addressing more urgent gaps in force protection, JLTV is fulfilling current and future requirements for all-terrain tactical mobility, maneuverability, sustainability as well as air transportation and strategic mobility (including sealift). (more...)

The Combat Tactical Vehicle (Technology Demonstrator) is a six passenger combat variant within the JLTV family of vehicles. The Nevada Automotive Test Center (NATC) is developing a technology demonstrator for the combat tactical vehicle (CTV), under contact for the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The vehicle is undergoing performance testing and Marine Corps evaluation at NATC proving ground in Nevada. The tests incorporate comprehensive cross country mobility and ballistic testing of several armor solutions, to be integrated into the vehicle's final design.

The vehicle offers several advantages and new technologies, including fully adjustable front and rear suspensions, offering 21" wheel travel and adjustable ride height. This feature is particularly important in retrospect of the height of MRAP vehicles, which exceeded the 76" restriction for maritime transportation, creating substantial delays in MRAP inter-theater mobilization. The CTV TD uses an integral rollover protection system (ROPS). BAE Systems produces the chassis and basic armor of aluminum. The basic armor offers high level protection, especially throughout the lower hull. The higher elements could be augmented with B kit armor, designed by Plasan. This armor uses a combination of composites and ceramics attached to sockets embedded in the basic vehicle. Blast mitigating structures and seats are protecting against mine and blast effect. The vehicle is provided with multiple side doors and rear access for rapid egress an ingress.

The CTV uses a Detroit-Diesel/MTU 926 turbo-diesel developing 322hp with 959 ft/lbs torque. Power steering is standard for the front wheels, augmented by optional steering for the rear wheels. To improve mobility and sustain battle damage, CTV-TD uses central tire inflation system and VFI runflat tires. It is capable of fording water at depth of 30" (60" with preparation). Safety systems include electronically controlled braking (ABS) system and electronic stability control (ECS). CTV has 30 kW onboard electrical power and 10kW mobile power.

 


At the 2007 Modern Day Marine expo Lockheed Martin unveiled its version of JLTV. The company is leading a team with BAE Systems to provide high volume assembly and armor manufacturing; Alcoa will support vehicle design and JWF Industries to produce various assemblies. Other suppliers include Axletech, Lotus, Cummins and Allison transmission. The vehicle is designed with "MRAP-like" survivability and protection based on 'modular' survivability. It is designed to carry over 4,000 lbs of usable payload, including seven troops seated in blast protected seats. Six access doors (a seventh rear access door is optional) are available, facilitating rapid troops ingress and egress.

According to the manufacturer, the vehicle's high on- and off-road mobility is provided by patented variable height suspension and stability control, contributed by the AxelTech automotive technology. The team selected a Cummins 340 hp turbo diesel engine and Allison 2500SP transmission to power its JLTV prototype. The hull is designed with V shape and has A-kit armor and B-kit attachments for enhanced protection. The Lockheed Martin team is building three prototype vehicles, demonstrating each of the planned JLTV categories – the combat tactical vehicle CTV, utility vehicle (UV) and long range strike reconnaissance variant (LRV). In parallel, the Lockheed Martin is preparing the vehicles for low rate production and, in fact, the company is ready to take orders for delivery of vehicles within the next 12 months.

Continued JLTV Pathfinder article - (part II): Hybrid Electric JLTV

Other topics in our Modern Day Marine expo review:

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CTV - View Photo

Light Tactical vehicle View Photo

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