U.S. defense company Oshkosh Corporation has been awarded a $42 million contract for an unspecified number of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) along with installed kits and packaged kits, according to a September 26 press release.
This is the third order placed by the U.S. Army since the U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $6.7 billion contract to build JLTVs for the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps to replace the majority of the services’ legacy unarmored HMMWVs (the “Humvee”) with a more modern vehicle (See: “US Army Orders New Armored Fighting Vehicle”). Around 280,000 Humvees will need to be replaced by 2040.
“This latest order demonstrates that the JLTV continues to be a central piece of the Army’s future ground force and a modernization priority,” said Dave Diersen, Oshkosh Defense’s vice president of joint programs. “The JLTV program is moving forward with a focus on giving Soldiers and Marines the next generation light vehicle they need for their missions.”
In March 2016, the U.S. Army placed an order for 657 JLTVs along with 2,977 installed kits and related support for an estimated value of $243 million. By the 2040, the U.S. Army is expected to receive 50,000 JLTVs, the U.S. Marine Corps 5,500 vehicles. The first JLTVs are expected to be delivered to the U.S. Army this month. Full-rate production is scheduled to begin in 2019.
Oshkosh’s competitor in the competitive bidding process, Lockheed Martin, filed a lawsuit in 2015 challenging the Army’s award to Oshkosh, which lead to delays in the program.
“The new JLTV is a hybrid between the small and unarmored Humvee and the larger, heavily armored Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAP), 24,000 of which were built for the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars once it became clear that the Humvee offered little protection from roadside bombs,” I wrote for The Diplomat in September 2015.
“The MRAP, however, was too bulky and too heavy to fit into the U.S military’s future ground warfare concept and was always thought to be an interim solution by the Pentagon. The new JLTV purportedly now offers the speed and agility of the Humvee and the protection and off-road mobility of a MRAP,” I further added.
The JLTV can be fitted with a Javelin missile system, a M249 machine gun, and an Orbital ATK M230 LF 30-millimeter lightweight automatic chain gun, depending on the vehicle’s configuration. The JLTV can also be equipped with a remote-controlled weapon system and can be driven via remote controls. Oshkosh claims that the vehicle offers ballistic protection of a light tank and the underbody protection of a MRAP.