The US Marine Corps (USMC) has conducted a load test of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

The test involved three configurations of the JLTV, taking the vehicle closer to fleet implementation.

Set to replace the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee) operated by the USMC and the US Army, the JLTV comes in two mission categories.

One of them is the combat tactical vehicle (CTV), which can accommodate four passengers, and the other is the two-seat combat support vehicle (CSV).

With a payload capacity of 3,500lb, the CTV is available in three configurations, general-purpose, heavy gun carrier and close combat weapons carrier.

The CSV comes in a single variant, the Utility (UTL) Prime Mover, which is intended to support the shelter carrier mission.

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The configurations that took part in the test included a heavy gun carrier CTV, close combat weapons carrier CTV and a utility/shelter carrier CSV.

USS Kearsarge combat cargo officer USMC chief warrant officer Jose Alvarez stated that the load test is designed to test the JLTV’s manoeuvrability within an LHD class ship.

3rd Battalion, 8th Marines gunnery sergeant Randy Ballarmstrong said: “We’ll be replacing Humvee’s one for one with JLTVs. The Humvee is almost 20 years old, and needs to be replaced.

“The JLTV has better capabilities, technologies and troubleshooting. It’s faster, bigger and can go through almost anything.”

Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity amphibious demonstrations test project officer Hal Roby noted that the JLTV provides better armour capabilities when compared to the Humvee.

Roby said: “The armour is built into the vehicle, unlike the Humvees where it’s added on. The under armour and the armour wrapped around the JLTV is much stronger and more capable to withstand IEDs and other attacks.”

The Marines conducted another load test aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24).

Earlier this month, the JLTV for the USMC achieved initial operational capability. The vehicle was declared fit to deploy and support missions of the naval expeditionary force-in-readiness.

Oshkosh Defense is the major contractor for the JLTV programme.