YUMA, Ariz. - There's a new vehicle gearing up for combat being tested at the Yuma Proving Ground (YPG).
It's called the JLTV, short for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, which will compliment the widely used HMMWV. The JLTV has been through rigorous testing for the last nine years at YPG and is now in the final stages before it goes out over seas. News 11 got an up close look at all this state-of-the-art vehicle can do.
"The JLTV was born out of a capability gap that soldiers and marines had face during the last years of conflict," LTC Rob Barnhill, the product manager for JLTV said.
It's been a long process of testing, but now it's almost ready for action. YPG has been testing this vehicle since 2009. There are some similarities between the HMMWV and the M-RAP, but the JLTV is a much more advanced version of the HMMWV.
"The HMMWV's and MRAP's aren't necessarily going away, but in a lot of the units, we are going to provide these and they will replace the HMMWV's in those units," Barnhill said.
The major differences between the JLTV and the HMMWV are that the JLTV was built with payload protection in it and that type of performance thought a head of time, already planned into these vehicles.
"The HMMWV's were built for 1980s warfare," Barnhill said. "We were driving around with off road mobility and then things started to happen over time where we started meeting some folks, you know bad people and we had to start increasing our protection on these vehicles," he added.
The smaller windows made with transparent armor and a backup camera help improve the safety of the vehicle and enhance survivability.
If you're wondering how much one of these vehicles costs it's $250,000 dollars rolling off the assembly line, but with all of the add-ons and additional kits, the U.S. Army plans on putting in an order costing them $6.7 billion dollars.
"The United States Army plans to field 49,099 starting in 2019 going through mid-2030s," Barnhill said. "The United States Marine Corps is fielding 5500 over the next couple years," he added.