The U.S. Marine Corps uses its newest Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) during exercise Northern Viper on Hokudaien Training Area, Hokkaido, Japan.
For the first time, JLTVs from the 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, were used during this year’s training exercise Japan.
“Northern Viper is a regularly scheduled training exercise that is designed to enhance the collective defense capabilities of the U.S. and Japan Alliance by exposing members of both forces to intense training in an austere environment, allowing them to perfect their skills in any clime and place,” the 3rd Marine Division message states.
U.S. Indo-Pacific Command previously reported that 3rd Marine Division has received the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle on Okinawa, Japan, which will replace the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) currently being used by the U.S. Marine Corps.
“The JLTV rebalances the ‘Iron Triangle’,” says Andrew Rodgers, the program manager for the JLTV. “Payload, performance, and protection. We’re restoring the capability we had in the HMMWV prior to a war that involved [improvised explosive devices] and roadside ambushes.”
As technology progresses, so does the weight requirement to carry new equipment to sustain and protect Marines to complete missions. HMMWVs are being overloaded past their intended payload, degrading the vehicle’s mobility and range before operational mission failure.
The JLTV trumps the HMMWV in every aspect of the triangle: a scalable engine with a base tune that currently doubles the horsepower of the HMMWV; an increased operating payload to roughly 2,500 more pounds; and increased organic protection before additional armor kits, which results in an increased average vehicle range before operational mission failure.
The superior vehicle will allow the Division to be more capable and lethal in the Indo-Pacific. The plan is to field every JLTV in the Marine Corps by January 2034. III Marine Expeditionary Force will be fully fielded by July 2027.