Can a Civilian Legally Own a JITV?

Where the army has decided to move some of the funds for Joint Light Tactical Vehicles to other uses, some have wondered if opportunities for purchasing these military vehicles have opened up to the general public. This is particularly the case where they have shifted their focus to rebuilding the vehicles they already have.

Currently, an Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is not open for sale to civilians. However, the JlTV vehicle was made to replace the Humvee which is available for civilians to purchase. The Humvee can range from $28,400 to $207,522 depending on the model, accessories, and features.

Why aren’t civilians able to own a JlTV? A bit of insight on what the vehicle is and its purpose helps with understanding why the JlTV isn’t open for us to buy. Additionally, learning a bit about the process by which Oshkosh Defense builds the JlTV further explains why the JlTV isn’t open for us to buy. Speaking of, where the JlTV isn’t for sale, those who would like to find an available option that is very similar to the JlTV will find that the Humvee is a good alternative and worth looking into.

What is a JlTV?

For starters, what exactly is a JlTV? JlTV stands for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and it is a new vehicle that the company Oshkosh Defense has made for military use. The goal of this new vehicle is to improve resources used by soldiers in battle. The military saw it fit to upgrade their vehicles, and especially wanted to focus on having vehicles that were easier to maintain, more reliable on the battlefield, and had better mobility for various terrains around the world. The military’s website,, explains how the features of the JlTV fit all of the needs they were looking for. In fact, the JlTV even has an increased amount of protection compared to the previous tactical vehicles the military has used. The JlTV is also made to carry large amounts of weight allowing it to transport all of the materials and resources needed by the soldiers for battle.

Why the JlTV isn’t Open to Civilians

Recently, reporter Sydney J. Freedburg Jr. talked to the president of Oshkosh Defense, John Bryant, about the JlTV. Her article about their interview on breaking gives a lot of insight as to why the JlTV is not available for the public to buy. The Oshkosh Defense company also makes civilian vehicles, so in the interview, Sydney Freedburg asked John Bryant about why the JlTV isn’t available to the public for purchase unlike most of their other vehicles. In response, he said, “These are not commercial vehicles. You’re talking about high technology vehicles. You’re talking about armor, you’re talking about very stringent US government quality standards. It’s a much more challenging vehicle to build than our normal commercial products.”

It is specifically equipped to be used on the battlefront and any other needs the military may have for it. Some of those features that the JlTV has render it difficult for public use on the streets. For example:

  • It weighs seven tons, and that is before it is loaded with machinery and supplies.
  • Car mechanics couldn’t propel it up like they normally do to do repairs, and they wouldn’t have the right parts to do the fix anyway.
  • It would be far too heavy to go in a car wash.
  • Any car accidents would most likely be more severe and deadly for the other party.
  • Everyday use would be difficult in general where our streets and parking spots aren’t made for a vehicle of that size and weight.

Another factor that makes it difficult for the JlTV to be open to the public is availability. As Sydney Freedburg pointed out, a worry that Oshkosh has is if other companies also try to make the JlTV. There is a specific Technical Data Package and toolset used to make this vehicle, and Oshkosh Defense is the only company with those resources. Plus, they have a very detailed instruction sheet and specific training for their employees building the JlTV.

Given the uniqueness of the vehicle, an absence of knowledge and experience can be a huge hindrance to other companies such as GM (General Motors) who want to replicate the JlTV. If some of these other companies had the resources to be able to replicate building it, availability would be increased improving the likelihood of the JlTV being open to the public. For now though, Oshkosh Defense is the only company building this vehicle, so all of them are for military use. As for when the JlTV will be open for civilians to buy, there is no indication as to when that will be. It will likely be quite some time because the JlTV is a relatively new military vehicle.

The Humvee as an Alternative

Where the JlTV isn’t open to the public, the Humvee is a great alternative for those who want to legally own a similar military vehicle. The JlTV was made for the purpose of replacing the Humvee. The Humvee is a tactical vehicle known for how reliable it is. According to an article on, the military has been using the Humvee since the 1980s, so it has definitely proved itself on the battlefield. It is fast, lightweight, and has been tested in all kinds of terrains and climates.

Also, it was specifically made to be able to transport military equipment, and therefore it can carry up to 2,500 pounds of weight while driving at the speed of 65 miles per hour! The article continues by mentioning how the vehicle has four-wheel drive and shock absorbers purposely tailored for when the military would be using the Humvee on extreme terrains. Because of that, it is perfect for those who enjoy hobbies such as off-roading and mountain biking, especially if they were wanting to purchase the JlTV particularly for the purpose of outdoor use and activities.

Essentially, out of the vehicles that are open to the public, the Humvee is currently the closest to the JlTV.

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