AM General unveiled an all-new version of its next-generation Humvee, the NXT 360 at AUSA Now 2020. The formal unveiling was made in a virtual event on the first day of AUSA Now, in keeping with the virtual nature of the event.
According to Nguyen Trinh, AM General’s Executive Vice President for AM General, the new NXT 360 features “leap-ahead technology” in a redesigned vehicle, following continuous improvements on the first generation NXT 360 that was revealed at Eurosatory in 2018.
The green pickup NXT 360 is indeed visibly different from the grey slantback of two years ago, with a totally redesigned crew compartment. The most distinctive external change is the new doors of the NXT 360, with an angular appearance reminiscent of the uparmored M1114 yet featuring the “X” pattern seen on regular Humvee doors. Notably, the rear door windows are no longer present, replaced by two ArmorWorks TactiVision “digital windows”. The TactiVision system replaces regular transparent armor windows with two wide field of view low-light-capable high definition cameras per rear door. According to ArmorWorks, the TactiVision system allows for both reduced weight and better multi-hit capability, owing to the small size of the low-profile cameras. Internally, the cabin has been redesigned to improve operator comfort, with reach and comfort for 5th percentile female to 95th percentile female operators significantly improved.
Other protection improvements include the use of a floating floor and blast resistant seats to improve underbody blast protection. AM General claims the NXT 360 has “MRAP class” protection, but did not go into details, with Chief Technology Officer Regis Luther stating that the NXT 360 is currently undergoing blast testing. Further enhanced kinetic protection is available with the NXT 360 ES, which is outfitted with bolt on armor. According to AM General, the improvements in protection have not affected the transportability of the NXT 360, with both the NXT 360 and NXT 360 ES capable of being transported by the same helicopters and cargo aircraft that transport current Humvees.
Mechanically, the NXT 360 is similar to current production Humvees, however, the V8 turbodiesel engine has been upgraded to deliver 205 horsepower and 250 horsepower for the NXT 360 ES. Additionally, the integrated starter-generator can generate 30 kilowatts of electricity to meet the electrical demands of newer equipment. New suspension with 50 percent longer travel enhances the off-road agility and ride quality of the NXT 360, while anti-lock brakes can be ordered (standard on the NXT 360 ES) to ensure the NXT 360 comes to a rapid halt as needed. Changes to the gear ratios of the NXT 360 allow for 15 to 40 percent improvements in fuel economy dependent on the off-road terrain, improving the vehicle’s range. The NXT 360 ES comes standard with a new digital backbone, facilitating easier vehicle diagnostics and future integration of automated vehicle health management systems.
Future development prospects include autonomy and support for swarming drones, with AM General depicting a scenario of a convoy of Humvees being able to deploy, support and recover swarming drones completely autonomously. To support the increased electricity requirements of drone operations, the NXT 360’s electrical system will be upgraded to support offboard electrical output of up to 100 kilowatts in the near future. In addition to that, AM General is exploring hybrid power options for the NXT 360, with multiple options including in-hub electric motors, differential electric motors or total electrification. AM General is working to integrate night vision displays in the sun visors of the NXT 360 that can be pulled down at night to provide thermal imagery or light amplification of the NXT 360’s surroundings, while still allowing the driver to see through the windscreen, providing an augmented reality-like experience.
The NXT 360 is marketed to both new customers looking for a light tactical vehicle and existing Humvee operators. AM General says that existing Humvees can be rebuilt to NXT 360 specifications, but the extent of modifications will be dependent on both the donor Humvee and the NXT 360 specifications ordered.