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19 Nov 14. All JLTV Rivals Finish Limited User Testing; Next Stop, RFP The better-protected, more-mobile replacement for the Humvee took a big step forward this month, when all three competitors’ vehicles completed a crucial series of military tests. All three have also completed a government Production Readiness Review to certify their ability to mass-produce their vehicle. Next comes the final Request For Proposals (RFP) for the $23bn program, expected any time now. Then, in mid-2015, the government must make a winner-take-all decision on which company gets to build the actual Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) for the Army and marines. While only Oshkosh has issued a formal press release so far, that has nothing to do with the performance of their product and everything to do with the aggressiveness of their press shop. As a company whose main business remains the commercial marketplace — and who faced difficult financial times in recent memory — Oshkosh seems quicker to tout itself than the traditional defense contractors with which it’s competing: AM General, which built the original Humvee, and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. But calls and emails to the two companies confirmed that they, too, have finished Limited User Testing. [The Army subsequently confirmed that all three competitors have completed LUT]. Each of these very different companies has very different strengths and strategies. AM General touts the excellence of its automotive systems, derived from decades of experience dating back to the original jeep of World War II. Lockheed Martin boasts of its superior technology and new advanced manufacturing facilities in Camden, Ark. Oshkosh can point out it designed and built the lightest and most mobile version of the otherwise notoriously heavy Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) trucks, the M-ATV (All-Terrain Variant).
JLTV is a huge program – potentially. Despite the pressure of sequestration, the Army and Marines still plan to buy about 50,000 vehicles. But with the automatic budget cuts likely to return in the 2016 budget, every weapons program is on the table. (Source: Google/Breaking Defense)
BATTLESPACE Comment: Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the UK may opt for the US JLTV choice for the lower end of its MRV(P) Programme. There is a Requirement for a larger vehicle for Ambulance and other roles which could be met by Renault, NAVISTAR or Oshkosh. NAVISTAR supply the current US Army MRAP Ambulance.
17 Nov 14. The Army and Marine Corps joint light tactical vehicle program is on schedule, but if sequestration returns in 2016, it will likely decrease the services’ purchasing power, said the joint program office manager. “The impact will more than likely … be a slowdown of production, which equals a stretch out of production,” said Army Col. John Cavedo. “If you buy less, the cost will move up.” Nonetheless, Cavedo expressed confidence that the program would be able to weather mandatory budget cuts, as it had in fiscal year 2013. “We were able to work through both furlough and government shut down, the impacts of sequestration … by being incredibly efficient,” he said. “The folks on my team worked day in and day out … [looking at] every cell on the Excel spreadsheet, looking for every little block they could shave a little bit of money from.” Cavedo said in October he expected to release the final request for proposals in early November. The services plan to downselect to a single vendor by the end of fiscal year 2015 for low-rate initial production. Three companies are still vying for the contract: truck manufacturer Oshkosh Corp.; AM General, which produces the Humvees slated to be partially replaced by JLTVs; and Lockheed Martin, a relative newcomer to the tactical vehicle industry. If sequestration is reinstated, a combinatio