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Jeep pitching J8 to U.S. military

by Bill Cawthon on

Jeep J8 Light Patrol Vehicle

According to The Age, an Australian newspaper, Jeep is angling for a chance to re-enlist in its old outfit, the United States Army.

While Jeep M175 trucks served in the military through the Vietnam War, the M38 Jeep, successor to the original “truck, 1/4-ton, reconnaissance” (general purpose came later) MA and GPW, was mustered out after 20 years of service.

At the recent Association of the US Army’s annual conference, held earlier this month in Washington, D.C., Jeep Government and Military Sales (JGMS), a subsidiary of Great Britain’s Jankel Group, showed a prototype of the Jeep J8 Light Patrol Vehicle (LPV) decked out with olive drab paint and a brace of machine guns. Chrysler Group appointed JGMS as the worldwide J8 distributor for government and military sales. JGMS has already built J8 prototypes equipped for various missions.

JGMS is marketing the J8 LPV to the Department of Homeland Security as a border patrol vehicle and to the military as a command vehicle, patrol or scout vehicle. personnel transport, or cargo carrier, though it does not qualify as a combat vehicle. An ambulance version is under development.

The J8, which can’t be sold in the U.S. as it doesn’t meet emissions standards [this may change with the 2010 version of the 2.8 liter VM diesel engine], is built by a joint venture of Chrysler and Arab American Vehicles Company at AAV’s plant in Cairo, Egypt. Some are also built by Automotive Industries Ltd. of Nazareth, Israel where it is called the Storm 3 and will be in service with the Israeli Defense Force as a command vehicle. Chrysler says if there is a demand for the J8 for American government sales, an EPA-compliant version could be built in the United States. [Editor’s note: the J8 is built in kit form in the US and assembled in Egypt.]

Thanks to Jeep News Now for the tip! Photo: Jankel Tactical Systems.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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