The Army and Marine Corps are buying a successor to the venerable Humvee light truck that is more survivable, versatile and reliable. Called the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, it is a response to threats encountered fighting insurgents in Southwest Asia — threats likely to intensify in the future. The Marine Corps is so impressed with JLTV that it has decided to buy 15,000, enough to replace its entire Humvee fleet. The Army’s plan is to buy 49,000, but it has a history of not sticking with modernization plans when money gets tight or intellectual fashions change. JLTV is not a marquee program, but for precisely that reason it is a good gauge of whether Army leaders are willing to sustain programs vital to future success in combat. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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