Video Above: Army: New Bradley Weapons & Sensors to Shape Next-Gen Combat Vehicle - 2030
The Army’s Joint-Light-Tactical Vehicle and MRAP-All Terrain Vehicle and a collection of large wheeled trucks are all well-known, established defense platforms made by Oshkosh Defense, an established contractor with a long history of innovating, engineering and delivering large combat platforms to the Army.
While Oshkosh Defense has a broad and massive reach across the Army vehicle fleet, its contributions thus far have primarily been in the realm of tactical wheeled vehicles. For instance, along with the JLTV and M-ATV, Oshkosh makes the Army’s Family of Medium Tactical (FMTV) Vehicles and the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT). Oshkosh Defense® Family of Medium Tactical Vehicle (FMTV) 10-ton dump
Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle Bradley Replacement
Now following many years of contract wins and large-scale production of Army and Marine Corps platforms, Oshkosh Defense is expanding into new ground by competing to build the Army’s tracked, armored Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle Bradley replacement. The move does break ground for Oshkosh, as the company has not as of yet delivered heavier armored and tracked vehicles for mechanized combat to the Army. As one of five major contractors now chosen by the Army to compete for the OMFV, Oshkosh is breaking new ground.
However, there are a few interesting nuances to consider which might suggest that Oshkosh’s submission of an armored OMFV may not be as much of a stretch as it might appear on the surface. Of course the company has been continuing to expand considerably in recent years following its JLTV, FMTV and M-ATV major wins of tactical wheeled vehicle platforms. This does not, however, mean they are not ruggedized for heavy combat.
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While vehicles such as the JLTV and M-ATV have, since their inception, been engineered as tactical platforms, they are both massively upgunned and ruggedized for major warfare. Survivability has been built into the designs in a number of key respects, above and beyond the well known efforts to deflect and defend against explosive debris from roadside bombs. These efforts, which included side panel armor, v-shaped underbellies, blast-attenuated seats and various weapons applications, were also accompanied by the understanding that these platforms would need to operate in large scale combat scenarios facing incoming enemy fire from RPGs and other kinds of anti-armor weapons. Both the M-ATV and JLTV were also built with an “open approach,” meaning they were engineered with a common set of technical standards such that they can accommodate new weapons, sensors, computing technology and communications gear as they emerge.
“There is a big focus within our combat systems upon integrated architecture and an approach to modularity for networks. There is a huge focus on that for OMFV,” Pat Williams, Vice President and General Manager, Army & Marine Corps programs, Oshkosh Defense, told The National Interest in an interview.
Oshkosh has been leveraging this in recent months as it is drawing upon the technical standards built into the JLTV to massively up-gun the vehicle with new missiles, anti-tank weapons and other technologies for heavy combat.
Off road mobility is yet another attribute which brings advantages for major mechanized warfare, as approaching forces might need recon or command and control vehicles to scout enemy areas and uneven terrain by traveling off road. This is why the M-ATV and JLTV are, for instance, built with Oshkosh’s well-known TAC-4i suspension system engineered to adjust quickly to new terrain and combat conditions.
Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox