When it comes to trucks and their service in the military, the two can commonly be seen hand in hand. We explored this recently when U.K. outfitter Ricardo unveiled a one of a kind demonstrator based on the global market version of the Ford Ranger. But while that truck will most likely not make the trek to our side of the pond, AM General and FCA have thankfully quenched our tastes for a stateside built brute, with the unveiling of an all new light tactical concept vehicle.
Dubbed the Jeep Gladiator XMT, the concept is the first visible fruit of a multi-stage collaboration effort that sees AM General and Jeep in particular reunite for the first time since their days in the long defunct AMC corporate empire. It doesn’t hurt either that both AM General and FCA have history that spans all the way back to World War 2, with both firms being key cogs of the U.S. war machine during that conflict.
As for the concept, it started life as a stock Jeep Gladiator, and while it will not have a machine gun mounted on it anytime soon, both companies see the concept as a prime candidate for work as a communications vehicle, with the vehicle pictured featuring two long range antennas mounted on the rear, as well as upgraded radio equipment.
Both companies stopped short of revealing the full suite of changes they did to make the concept ready for combat duty, but a few of them are noticeable to the naked eye. They include beefy off-road tires mounted on heavy duty steel wheels, protective bars where the doors would be, as well as a prominent grille guard that features a military spec winch system.
“We are extremely excited to partner with FCA and introduce the Jeep Gladiator Extreme Military-Grade Truck at AUSA,” said AM General President and CEO, Andy Hove. “This new venture gives us an opportunity to showcase our expertise in light tactical vehicles and help FCA maximize the Gladiator’s global reach and potentially enter new military markets.”
AM General and FCA made it clear that for the moment, the XMT is a one-off functional demonstrator, but if it manages to gain interest from military buyers, both firms revealed that it could go rapidly into production with gasoline and diesel engines available. In addition to its featured role as a mobile comms post, the XMT could also fulfill other roles such as being an agile light transport vehicle, as well as being a key tool for command and control missions.
The concept is slated to officially debut at the Annual Meeting and Exposition of The Association of the U.S. Army where it will be looked over by both military and government officials.