LWI - Land Warfare

Eurosatory 2018: Humvee evolves to NXT 360

12th June 2018 - 10:45 GMT | by Grant Turnbull in Paris

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US manufacturer AM General, makers of the ubiquitous High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV - or Humvee), has unveiled an updated design for the vehicle that incorporates better protection, mobility and payload potential.

The next-generation light tactical vehicle – known as the NXT 360 – has been unveiled at this year’s Eurosatory in Paris.

‘It is not the same as the Humvees that are operating today,’ said Nguyen Trinh, VP of international operations and programmes integration at AM General. ‘We have taken a proven platform and with discussions we have had with customers about their needs developed this platform.’

There are several requirements from customers that AM General has attempted to address with the NXT 360, including improved protection, while retaining the same dimensions for strategic mobility as well as improving overall mobility with refreshed sub-systems.

The new vehicle features enhanced kinetic threat protection with 360 degree ‘B7’ armour levels, as well as STANAG 2A front wheel blast protection and STANAG +1 undercarriage protection. Other survivability features include blast attenuated seating and blast mats, along with B7-level transparent armour.

Gross vehicle weight has increased to 7,100kg, allowing for greater payload capacity. To retain mobility the NXT 360 has a new 250hp (186kW) P400 6.5l V8 turbocharged engine that can produce 624nm of torque.

This engine, along with a new 6L85e 6-speed automatic transmission to replace the original 4-speed gearbox, is manufactured by AM General and gives the platform a higher top speed and efficiency than the original Humvee.

A heavier duty suspension has also been integrated, along with new 33in tyres that can utilise a newly-added central tyre inflation system for added traction over soft terrain.

Regis Luther, VP technology and engineering at AM General, told Shephard that the vehicle also features enhanced stabilisation control (ESC). This system uses sensors to detect both yaw angle and steering angle, along with software that can electronically control the braking to assist stabilisation.

‘In the future, if you want to autonomously control it [for unmanned operations] you can,’ said Luther.

AM General officials told Shephard that the vehicle could either be offered as a new vehicle or as an upgrade ‘kit’ for existing customers. It is believed that a vehicle with similar configuration was trialled by Latvia as part of the country’s requirement for a new 4x4 light tactical vehicle. The vehicle was downselected along with three other vehicles earlier this year.

Testing for that requirement has now been completed with a decision for the possible acquisition of several hundred vehicles expected later this year.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis-based company continues to demonstrate its Hawkeye 105mm self-propelled howitzer solution to both US and foreign forces. Trinh said that more firing trials with the US Army and US Marines were planned for later this year.

The Hawkeye is made up of components – including vehicle, fire control system and M119 breech and barrel – that are already in service with the US Army and is seen as a relatively quick way of introducing a self-propelled howitzer capability to the army’s light infantry forces.

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