The Army is facing a harsh reality: it must modernize or suffer defeat by China or Russia in the next decade.
We've documented how the Pentagon is rushing to field hypersonic weapons, lasers, railguns, fifth-generation fighters, and new combat rifles. Now a new report from Defense Blog shows how the Army has been replacing its light combat vehicles with high-tech ones.
Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, announced earlier this month that the 5,000th Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) has rolled off the production line.
The JLTV is the replacement vehicle for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), otherwise known as the Humvee, which entered service in 1983.
The JLTV was designed from the ground up as an armored system that would be suitable for the modern battlefield. It has an increased cargo payload of up to 2,500 pounds, more horsepower, increased vehicle range, new armor kits, and high-tech computer systems that make it unparallel to the Humvee.
The vehicle can connect its occupants to battlefield networks while scaling almost any terrain, in any part of the world. Its advanced armor allows it to take multiple hits from rocket-propelled grenades and protect occupants inside.
JLTV has recently entered full-rate production. Defense Blog said 49,000 JLTVs would be fielded by 2040.
Another report shows how soldiers at Fort McCoy, an Army installation in Wisconsin, are currently testing JLTVs on closed courses to familiarize themselves with the new vehicles.
JLTV training began at the Army base in May 2019 and will continue through the early 2020s.
Defense Blog has provided several pictures of JLTVs on a closed course at Fort McCoy:
During the last several decades and numerous conflicts in the Middle East, the Army has experienced several lost procurement decades and declining modernization funds that have left the service vulnerable through the mid-2020s.
China and Russia are quickly catching up, the edge that the Army once had over its enemies is no more, the time to modernize is now, if efforts fail, the US empire will implode in the coming decades.