When the U.S. military puts in an RFP, or request for proposals, for a stronger, smarter, better personal-use vehicle to replace many of its Hummers, you can bet plenty of companies will be looking to land that contract. And that's exactly what happened, with Navistar and several other suppliers debuting their Special Operations Tactical Vehicle at the Special Ops Industry Conference in Tampa, Fla., a few weeks ago.
This more-mobile vehicle follows the debut last March of the Navistar Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) that we reported will be running Ford's 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel engine. Whereas the JLTV is more of a heavier-duty troop carrier and mobile command center, with weights and GVWRs in the 14,000- to 26,000-pound range, this smaller Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV) will range in weight and GVWR between 6,000 to 14,000 pounds, respectively. The intended users are likely to be the Green Berets, Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.
Some reports peg the GMV with a 123-inch wheelbase, but we're guessing from the photo that the number is likely to be 15 to 20 inches longer — more comparable with a full-size, crew-cab pickup truck. The GMV would likely be much smaller and lighter-duty than the current Navistar lineup (TerraStar, Saratoga, and MXT) and, most importantly, less expensive.
The GMV will use Navistar's corporate MaxxForce 6.0-liter V-8 turbo-diesel, which they continue to use even after Ford decided several years ago to take its Super Duty diesel engine in-house. The GMV is reported to have a 50-degree approach angle, a 45-degree departure angle and up to 36 inches of fording depth. According to the original request form from the military, the vehicle needs to be able to carry as much as 6,000 pounds and be carryable with an MH-47 or CH-47 helicopter.
There's no telling what Navistar might do (commercially) if they get this contract, but the company says the vehicle platform is versatile enough to make it a four-, six- or eight-passenger transporter. The vehicle uses a coil spring, four-wheel-independent suspension with eight-lug, bead-lock rims. No doubt the vehicle is configured to be a 1- or 1.5-ton truck for the needed strength and durability needs of the military. We assume the powertrain could also be set up for bifuel or hybrid technology as well. If we ever get a chance to drive, we'll let you know.
For now, all proposals will need to be into the military by the end of this month, with a final decision made later this year.
Current Gen MXT