US Military’s Insane Pickup Truck

The Oshkosh JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle) is the ultimate in military pickup truck design. These aren’t lifted F-350 pickups rolling coal in the supermarket parking lot. They are a serious armored and armed anti-tank military pickup truck with incredible versatility. Just as the current infantryman needs to be prepared for guerilla-style warfare in an urban setting, he also needs a pickup truck to be the same. Oshkosh says the JLTV provides “unprecedented levels of off-road performance.”

As civilians we are happy when our new truck has a couple of extra cup holders and the seats heat up quickly on a cold morning. But the Army and USMC have many more requirements and ways its pickup trucks must function. That’s how the Oshkosh JLTV came to be.

What Is The JLTV Military Pickup?

Oshkosh JLTV Military Truck I Oshkosh Defense-001
Oshkosh JLTV Military Truck | Oshkosh Defense

Built by Northrop Grumman/Oshkosh the JLTV 4 x 4 debuted in 2016 after a rigorous competition among several military equipment providers. Their goal was to create a better pickup truck to replace the aging HUMVEE. Oshkosh was awarded the US military contract. It  has been cranking out the JLTV and its variations from its Oshkosh, Wisconsin, facilities ever since.

Initially 2,600 JLTVs were delivered to the Army and Marine Corp. In November 2018, Oshkosh received another order from the US Defense Department for 6,000 more JLTVs. In many ways this is the face of the US Army. It’s a mini-operational headquarters, mobile command center, transporter, troop carrier, and the farthest piece of frontline equipment penetration before boots on the ground. 

So what is the makeup of an Oshkosh JLTV? What are its specifications and qualifications? Oshkosh and the US Army don’t get into specifics. Motor Biscuit can give you a general rundown on some of the specs and features built into each one.

Full Armor And 20-Inches Of Wheel Travel

Oshkosh JLTV Military Truck I Oshkosh Defense-001
Oshkosh JLTV Military Truck | Oshkosh Defense

First, these are four-wheel-drive pickups with excellent ground clearance. The independent front and rear suspension is designed for 20-inches of wheel travel. It also incorporates an adaptable intelligent ride control system depending on the terrain. This can raise or lower the JLTV on-the-fly. 

With the turbodiesel engine set forward it allows for a fairly large crew cabin. It also provides power for up to 70 mph to escape bad situations. The JLTV has a range of 300 miles.

Standard Equipment Beyond Imagination

Oshkosh JLTV Military Truck I Oshkosh Defense-001
Oshkosh JLTV Military Truck | Oshkosh Defense

Armored doors and bulletproof glass are standard equipment. So are the mine-resistant features to help protect our soldiers out in the field. The armor is meant to protect against small arms fire but there are also four separate smoke grenade dischargers to self-screen the vehicle. An AC/DC power supply, electronic warfare protection and detection capabilities, GPS for navigation, SATCOM satellite communications systems, and an onboard computer start the list of features.

During silent watch situations the JLTV needs to supply power without detection, which it does. Automatic fire suppression in the case of an onboard fire is mandatory. There is a system installed that can absorb and to also deflect blast energy. 

The roof can house a remote weapon station or a gun turret that can launch anti-tank guided missiles and bunker busters. And of course, the rear contains a pickup box of sorts to throw gear and guns into. It has to have that to be a pickup truck.