A recent essay in RealClearDefense proposes that the pending re-compete of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program is an opportunity to pursue electrification of the Army’s tactical vehicle fleet. It also proposes introducing other recent automotive innovations into the fleet, which the authors describe as outdated. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting how to make the Army “greener,” but this proposal is fraught with danger. First, most commercial automotive technology is too fragile to function in combat environments. Second, recharging electric vehicles in or near a battlefield could prove quite challenging. Third, efforts to modify the JLTV’s design would undoubtedly slow the delivery of safer tactical vehicles to the force. Fourth, fielding a mixed fleet of electric and diesel combat systems would complicate wartime logistics. JLTV has been a highly successful program to date, and it needs to be kept on track. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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