The U.S. Marines are set to replace existing armored Humvees with the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV. The new vehicles will have some familiar parts though—the Corps is recycling armored gun shields from the Humvees and reinstalling them on the JLTVs to save money.
The new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is an armored light utility vehicle designed to ferry soldiers, airmen, and Marines across a battlefield, not only on the front lines but behind friendly lines where the threat of ambush by guerrillas or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exist. The JLTV replaces the Humvee, which was never that great at dealing with explosions from below, with a vehicle built from the ground up to deal with IEDs. It can carry four people and up to 3,500 pounds of cargo. The JLTV is powered by a Duramax Turbo Diesel engine with Allison 2500SP six speed automatic transmission, making it capable of speeds of up to 70 miles an hour, and has a 4x4 TAK-4i Independent suspension system with 20 inches of travel.
Armored Humvees, procured for service in Iraq and Afghanistan, were equipped with . The kits installed on the roof an armored Humvee and provided 360 degree and overhead protection for machine gun gunners and grenadiers. The armor consists of modular panels of both steel and armored glass to protect against bullets, shrapnel, and explosive blasts. The kits are not very old by military standards and are still useful. Rather than scrap them, two versions of the JLTV, the Close Combat Weapon Carrier and the Heavy Gun Carrier will recycle the kits to protect weapon handlers on the new vehicles.
The Gunner Protection Kit on the Close Combat Weapon Carrier will protect Marines manning TOW anti-tank missile launchers. The Heavy Gun Carrier variant will be armed with a 7.62-millimeter machine gun, .50 caliber heavy machine gun, Mk.19 40-millimeter grenade launcher, or Javelin anti-tank missile.
The Marines plan to buy to replace their existing fleet of armored Humvees and reckon recycling the Gunner Protection Kits will save up to $100 million. The Marines are also salvaging radios, antennas, and other communications equipment from Humvees for the newer vehicles. The JLTV is scheduled to hit frontline Marine units in summer 2019.