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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

27 August 2015

Oshkosh Defense Wins JLTV Contract

The US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) has awarded Oshkosh Defense a $6.7 billion firm fixed price production contract to manufacture the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

The JLTV production contract awarded to Oshkosh includes a base contract award and eight option years covering three years of LRIP and five years of FRP. Oshkosh will begin delivering vehicles approximately ten months after contract award. (Photo: Oshkosh)

The JLTV programme fills a critical capability gap for the US Army and US Marine Corps (USMC) by replacing a large portion of the legacy HMMWV fleet with a light tactical vehicle with far superior protection and off-road mobility. During the contract, which includes both Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) and Full Rate Production (FRP), Oshkosh expects to deliver approximately 17,000 vehicles and sustainment services.

Following a rigorous, disciplined JLTV competition, the US Army and USMC are giving our nation’s warfighters the world’s most capable light vehicle – the Oshkosh JLTV,” Charles L. Szews, Oshkosh CEO boasted. “Oshkosh is honoured to be selected for the JLTV production contract, which builds upon our 90-year history of producing tactical wheeled vehicles for US military operations at home and abroad. We are fully prepared to build a fleet of exceptional JLTVs to serve our troops in future missions.” (Photo: Oshkosh)

The JLTV Family of Vehicles is comprised of two variants, a two seat and a four seat variant, as well as a companion trailer (JLTV-T). The two seat variant has one base vehicle platform, the Utility (JLTV-UTL). The four seat variant has two base vehicle platforms, the General Purpose (JLTV-GP) and the Close Combat Weapons Carrier (JLTV-CCWC).

The winning firm or team would build 17,000 vehicles for the Army and Marines in the first three years of LRIP, followed by five years of FRP, according to a Congressional Research Service report. As part of engineering and manufacturing development contracts awarded to the three companies in 2012, each company delivered 22 prototype vehicles. The first Army unit would be equipped with the vehicles in fiscal 2018, and its acquisition would be complete in 2040. The USMC would begin its buy at the start of production and finish in fiscal 2022.

Because of the JLTV programme, our soldiers and marines are getting a level of technical performance that no other vehicle can match,” US Army Maj.Gen. (Ret.) John M. Urias, Executive Vice President of Oshkosh and President of Oshkosh Defense explained. “Our JLTV has been extensively tested and is proven to provide the ballistic protection of a light tank, the underbody protection of an MRAP-class vehicle, and the off-road mobility of a Baja racer. The Oshkosh JLTV allows troops to travel over rugged terrain at speeds 70% faster than today’s gold standard, which is our Oshkosh M-ATV. Looking to future battlefields, we know that our troops will face a myriad of threats. Soldiers and marines can be assured that the highly capable Oshkosh JLTV will perform the mission.”  (Photo: Oshkosh)

According to Oshkosh, its JLTV combines the latest in automotive technologies with the Oshkosh CORE1080 crew protection and TAK-4i independent suspension systems to provide next generation performance. In designing its JLTV, Oshkosh leveraged its extensive experience producing and sustaining more than 150,000 heavy, medium and protected MRAP vehicles for the US and its allies.
Oshkosh beat out Lockheed Martin and AM General to win the contract to build the JLTV, which eventually could cover as many as 50,000 vehicles and be worth as much as $30 billion over the next 25 years.

A tough political fight may lie ahead before production begins. Neither Lockheed or AM General has ruled out filing a protest with the Government Accountability Office, a process that could complicate the multi-decade initiative that will see around 55,000 vehicles roll off the assembly line.

The Lockheed Martin JLTV Team was disappointed to learn that the US Army and USMC did not select our JLTV,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement. “We believe we presented a very strong solution and await the customers’ debrief to hear more detail regarding the reasons behind this selection before making a decision about a potential protest.”

We are disappointed with the Government’s decision and continue to believe that AM General and our BRV-O vehicle are the right choice for the JLTV programme, based on our best value offer which is backed by decades of JLTV expertise and proven record as a trusted and reliable partner with the US military,” a AM General spokesman said. “Our BRV-O provides world-class survivability features to Soldiers and Marines while delivering unmatched vehicle payload and performance. We are very proud of our team’s efforts and our BRV-O offering. At this time, we are reviewing the government’s decision and are considering all available options.”

US Army TACOM LCMC has awarded Oshkosh Defense a $6.7 billion firm fixed price production contract to manufacture the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), beating Lockheed Martin's and AM General's offer. (Photo: Oshkosh)
Meritor announced today it plans to supply wheel-ends for approximately 17,000 JLTV to be manufactured by Oshkosh . Meritor's bevel gear hub wheel-ends will help optimise the Oshkosh JLTV's payload capability and mobility, according to the company. 

"For more than half a century, we've supported our troops by delivering technology solutions for military applications," said Tim Burns, vice president, Defense & Specialty for Meritor. "We're proud to support this next-generation light, protected tactical vehicle for the Army and Marine Corps."

Interestingly, according to Col. Shane Fullmer, US Army's JLTV project manager, as an option within the initial $6.7 billion contract, the US Army can buy a technical data package from Oshkosh for JLTV that would allow the service to re-compete production. However, the Army has not decided on that yet.

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