Much as Hummer-owners may like to speak of their vehicles' military pedigree, the fact is that the U.S. Army now wants to replace its Humvees with vehicles that are better suited for use in war zones, particularly when it comes to protecting occupants. One potential Humvee-replacement has just been announced by Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense - the Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle or L-ATV.
First of all, the L-ATV is well-armored. Its passenger capsule is scalable, and can accept multiple armor configurations, depending on the situation. The capsule's modular design also allows for compatibility with future technological upgrades.
Road bumps are soaked up by Oshkosh's proprietary TAK-4i independent suspension system, which offers 20 inches (50.8 cm) of travel per wheel. According to the company, that is 25 percent more than any vehicle currently in use by the U.S. Military.
One interesting option is a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain. While drivers of the L-ATV might not be thinking much about its carbon footprint, they doubtless don't want to run out of fuel in enemy territory, or waste more time than necessary refueling. It also means that their mission range is considerably extended.
Another one of the company's products, the M-ATV Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, is already in military service.