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“The Pentagon’s decade-long quest for a truck that can slog through desert sand, traverse mountain passes and — this is the kicker — keep troops safe from roadside bombs takes a step closer to reality this month,” USA Today reports.

“Three defense contractors are vying for the prize: production of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), the successor to the Humvee. The stakes: tens of billions of dollars in orders from the Army and Marine Corps.”

“Defense heavyweights Lockheed Martin, Oshkosh Defense and AM General have until Aug. 22 to deliver 22 prototype trucks to the government for testing. They’ll be driven and blasted and tested for reliability and safety. The first contract is to be signed in 2015. The first Army unit will be equipped with them in 2018. By 2035, the JLTV will replace one-third of its combat trucks.”

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