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13 Feb 20. Mack Defense has assembled the 1,587th and final truck for the Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) Standard Military Pattern (SMP) program. The truck rolled off the assembly line on Feb. 13 in Saint Nicolas, Quebec in front of a select group of dignitaries, military officials and Mack Defense employees.

“Mack Defense is proud to have completed the build out of these trucks, and we look forward to continuing the program and supporting the more than 1,500 MSVS trucks that will be in service with the Canadian Armed Forces,” said David Hartzell, president, Mack Defense. “This program demonstrates the global reach and collaboration Mack Defense is capable of.”

Mack Defense is part of the Volvo Group and leveraged the Group’s large industrial footprint and global capabilities to engineer and produce the MSVS SMP trucks. Before final production took place at a Prevost facility in Saint Nicolas, additional work was completed at facilities located in Bourg-en-Bresse, Marolles, Blainville and Limoges, France. The MSVS SMP program was coordinated through Mack Defense headquarters in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

In addition, Mack Defense called upon several key Canadian partners including Dumur Industries Ltd., EODC, Inc., Marshall, Craig Manufacturing and Link Suspensions of Canada (Raydan Division) to contribute to the project.

Mack Defense was awarded two contracts in 2015 valued at $725m CAD by the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada on behalf of the Department of National Defense. The contracts called for Mack Defense to deliver more than 1,500 8×8 MSVS SMP trucks, including variants such as cargo, material handling cranes, load handling systems (LHS) and mobile repair trucks

13 Feb 20. Singapore Airshow 2020: Singapore rolls out the robots. Several types of UGV made their appearance on the stand of ST Engineering at Singapore Airshow 2020, ranging from the well-known THeMIS to a small follow-me robot. The company is cooperating with Milrem Robotics of Estonia to integrate a 40mm automatic grenade launcher and 12.7mm machine gun on the THeMIS. This weapon combination is known as the ST Engineering Adder DM 40/50.

The resultant tracked vehicle is designated the Dual-Mount Large-Scale UGV, and an official said it is designed for use at company level. Live firing was completed in Estonia in 2019, and the nearly 350kg stabilised Adder system — containing 32 40mm grenades and 100 12.7mm rounds — is capable of target tracking.

Moving down in size, ST Engineering displayed its Adder Micro UGV, which is designed for squad use. This smaller tracked platform’s Adder Micro RWS touts twin 5.56mm Ultimax 100 light machine guns. They can be fired singly or simultaneously, and the mounting offers a -20° to +60° elevation range.

The Micro Adder UGV has a tele-operable range of 500m, and its size makes it better suited for use in confined or urban areas. It was developed solely by ST Engineering, and can be controlled by a single operator using a 10in (25cm) touchscreen.

As part of its Advanced Robotics Engagement System research, ST also showed a manned-unmanned teaming concept for an even smaller UGV: a wheeled robot called SSD-G8D that is designed to follow soldiers.

The SSD-G8D can carry portions of a soldier’s combat load when he is on the move, and provides a platform with wireless charging for a micro-UAV to ensure situation awareness.

On the battlefield, the soldier can send this small rotary-wing UAV ahead to scout the terrain. It is controlled by a special grip with a joystick and buttons on the operator’s rifle, while imagery collected by the aircraft is transmitted to the soldier’s goggles.

ST Engineering described this as a ‘heads up, eyes out and hands on trigger’ system.

The company is also working on a tactical cloud controller that allows UAVs to perform functions such as facial recognition. Using a tactical edge computer engine, it could alternatively connect a wearable camera, ground sensor or vehicle to the cloud. (Source: Shephard)

12 Feb 20. BAE York Plant Problems Trigger Big Army Cuts. The US Army’s slashed its 2021 buys of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) and upgraded Paladin PIM howitzer to give the factory time to make fixes, particularly to quality control. Two of the three armored fighting vehicle programs being built by BAE System’s factory in York, Pennsylvania have been slashed in the 2021 budget. While the Marine Corps continues to ramp up production of its eight-wheeled Amphibious Combat Vehicle, from 56 ACVs in 2020 to 72 in ’21, that increase is swamped by Army cuts to two tracked vehicles, both derived from BAE’s iconic but aging M2 Bradley:

  • Production of the turretless utility variant of the Bradley, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), will plummet from 121 in the 2020 budget to just 32 in ’21, recovering to 168 in ’22.
  • Production of the upgraded M109A7 PIM version of the Paladin artillery vehicle, which uses the Bradley suspension and drive train, will fall from 96 vehicles (48 howitzers and 48 ammo carriers) to 60, recovering to 88 in ’22.

Those 2022 figures are a forecast in the five-year budget plan, however, not a formal request to Congress, and they might change. “Once you start to get that production line facilitized — and again it’s not going to be one of those things you figure out in a couple months — it’s going to be an iterative every-year look at what’s the right rate [and] what’s the most effective and efficient way to run that line,” deputy assistant secretary John Daniels told reporters yesterday.

The Army had already reduced production of both BAE vehicles in its 2020 request last year – along with over 180 other programs – as it ruthlessly scrubbed its current programs for savings it could reinvest in higher-priority, higher-tech weapons for future wars with Russia or China. But BAE’s York plant has also had trouble keeping up both quality-control standards – notably for welding armored hulls – and production rates as it tried to expand its tooling and its workforce to meet Army demand, attracting the personal attention of then-Army Secretary Mark Esper.

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“Part of the problem was “getting the production facility right-sized,” Daniels said, “[and] there were some additional unforeseen issues in the industrial base” – presumably a reference to the quality control issues.

So the Army decided to “slow the production curve to get a little bit of time to get a better vehicle,” he said. “It would delay it by about six months.”

We’ve asked BAE Systems for comment and will update this story as soon as they get back to us. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)

12 Feb 20. LAND 121 Phase 3B program achieves major IOC milestone. Initial Operating Capability declared for Rheinmetall MAN logistics vehicles deliveries to Australia Defence Force. Deliveries of more than 2500 Rheinmetall MAN high mobility logistics vehicles to the Australian Defence Force have achieved a major new milestone with the Commonwealth of Australia declaring Initial Operating Capability (IOC) status for the LAND 121 Phase 3B program. Rheinmetall welcomes the announcement by Minister for Defence Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds CSC that Land 121 Phase 3B has achieved IOC following Exercise Talisman Sabre in 2019.

The Land 121 Phase 3B contract commenced in April 2016 with a four year program focused on the delivery of a fleet of 2536 vehicles in multiple configurations to form the logistics backbone of the Australian Defence Force. Deliveries to Australian Army facilities around Australia are expected to be completed by April 2020 under the Land 121 Phase 3B program schedule.

“The progress of the Land 121 Phase 3B program at this important milestone is testament to the strong working relationship between Rheinmetall and the Commonwealth,” said Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing director Gary Stewart. “Together, we are delivering the most protected, mobile, reliable, versatile and cost-effective vehicles in their class to the Army and the wider ADF and ensuring the safety of Australian soldiers.”

The vehicles included under the Land 121 Phase 3B program and delivered to the Australian Army to date include the variants:

  • Heavy Integrated Load Handling (HX-77)
  • Heavy Tipper (HX-77)
  • Medium Tipper (40-M)
  • Tractor (HX-81)
  • Heavy Recovery (45M)
  • Medium-weight Tray with Crane (40M)
  • Medium-weight Tray (40M)

“These vehicles combine Rheinmetall’s expertise in survivability and mission specific equipment with MAN’s high-end automotive components and driver assistance systems, together with mission-specific high-tech components from a network of Australian industry partners,” Mr Stewart said.

Australian industry capability (AIC) is a critical part of the Land 121 Phase 3B program, particularly during the integration and delivery of the vehicles to the Australian Army. This commitment to AIC will be underscored during the next phase of the program – Land 121 Phase 3B/5B – which will see Rheinmetall deliver a further 1044 vehicles and 872 modules, as well as on-going support to the capability to ensure it meets operational requirements, working alongside its growing network of Australian industry partners.

Around 10,000 of Rheinmetall MAN vehicles are in service worldwide, which – in multinational operations – offers major advantages with regard to interoperability and logistics. Among current user nations are the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark and New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and Norway.

11 Feb 20. US Army sacrifices JLTV and guided rockets to pay for Army modernization in FY21, The Army will reduce its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) buy in the fiscal 2021 budget and cancel procurement of specific precision-guided rockets in order to fund modernization priorities, according to Maj. Gen. Paul Chamberlain, the Army’s budget director.

Through a second round of night court — an effort to find and shift funding from programs that don’t align with the Army’s modernization priorities or the National Defense Strategy — the service found an additional $2.4bn to move from lower priority programs.

And the Army found a total of $13.5bn across the five-year budget plan in savings, with $7.2bn of that coming from a legacy system review.

Chamberlain said the JLTV procurement would be reduced in FY21. The reductions won’t affect the Army’s overall procurement requirement but will extend the process to buy the vehicles out by additional years.

According to Pentagon budget documents, the Army is requesting $894.4m in FY21 for 1,920 JLTVs of various configurations as well as 1,334 JLTV-T companion trailers.

The number of JLTVs under contract totals 10,760. The service’s forecasted quantities total across the five-year budget plan is 8,829 vehicles. “If funding levels remain consistent with the [FY21] funding profile, the Army anticipates reaching the [Acquisition Program Objective] in FY41,” the service said in a statement providing clarity to the newly released budget documents.

The Army cut its procurement of the JLTV in its FY20 budget request by 863 vehicles as well. The service procured 3,393 vehicles in FY19 in low-rate initial production, but only planned to buy 2,530 vehicles in FY20. The Army originally planned in its FY19 request to buy 3,035 vehicles in FY20.

The service also struggled to reach full-rate production due to several changes to the vehicle. The Army originally planned to make an FRP decision in December 2018 but didn’t reach the milestone until May 2019.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper, while serving as Army secretary in the spring of 2019, said that the vehicle was designed and procured in “the context of Afghanistan and Iraq,” and hence was just not as relevant anymore when applied to the fresh NDS guiding Army investment.

“We are certainly cutting the total number,” Esper said of the vehicles, at the time.

The Army is also canceling the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKS) procurement, which are guided rockets, Chamberlain said.

And the Army is also canceling the High Mobility Engineer Excavator and research and development of tactical electric power, he added.

The service is also planning to reduce the service life extension program for the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and some mortar procurement, Chamberlain said.

The Army is planning to replace ATACMS with its new Precision Strike Missile (PrSM). Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are competing to build the new missile for the Army.

As far as the bigger programs that saw reductions or cancellations last year in order to find funding for top priorities, the Army is not walking back on those decisions.

For example, the service is still continuing to upgrade Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles in advance of procuring its replacement, the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, which is currently in a tactical pause. But it’s not adding back cuts it made to upgrades to pay for OMFV, despite its unclear future.

And the Army is still not planning on funding any CH-47F Block II Chinook cargo helicopters for the active force, which it cut last year, despite Congress injecting funds in FY20 to jump start advanced procurement for aircraft for the active force.

Chamberlain said the service is still planning to fund the development and procurement of the Block II variant for Army Special Operations.

The Army plans to revisit its decision to cut the CH-47F Block II procurement for conventional forces in FY23, according to a service statement. The options include buying the Block II variant for the active component or recapitalizing the Block I variant, the statement details. (Source: Defense News)

11 Feb 20. Turkey’s FNSS to supply Kunduz AACE to Philippines, says report. Turkey’s FNSS Savunma Sistemleri (FNSS) has been awarded a contract to provide an undisclosed number of Kunduz Armoured Combat Earthmovers (AACEs) to the Philippine military, according to a 10 February report by the Turkish state-owned Anadolu Agency (AA).

The media outlet quoted FNSS General Manager Nail Kurt as saying that the order placed by the Philippines will mark the first export of the Kunduz AACE, adding that other contracts may also be signed as “they [the Philippines also] need similar products”.

The AACE is described by its manufacturer as an “amphibious, armoured, tracked, combat earthmover” designed for the preparation of river banks for river crossings. According to FNSS, the vehicle is capable of performing bulldozing, rough grading, excavating, hauling, and scraping operations.

The AA news report came after FNSS announced on 6 February that “mass production” of the Kaplan MT Modern Medium Weight Tank (MMWT), which was developed in partnership with Indonesian land systems company PT Pindad, began in December 2019.

As part of an agreement signed at the IDEF 2019 defence and aerospace show in Istanbul, an initial 18 Kaplan MTs are set to be built, with 10 of the tanks expected to be constructed in Turkey and the remaining eight in Indonesia, where the platform is known as Harimau (Tiger). No details were provided about the delivery schedule.

According to PT Pindad, the Indonesian Army, which has already trialled the platform, has a requirement for 400 Kaplan MTs to replace the service’s depleted fleets of French-made AMX-13 light tanks, which originally numbered more than 300. (Source: Jane’s)

06 Feb 20. Hungary Becomes Third WiSENT 2 User in NATO. Between 2023 and 2025 Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH (FFG) will deliver 5 WiSENT 2 armoured recovery vehicles, as well as engineer tank kits in 40-foot containers and demining kits in 20-foot containers, to Hungary. In addition spare parts, special tools and testing equipment will be supplied. Technical documentation for the WiSENT 2 training for future operators and maintenance personnel complete the service package.

This makes Hungary the third NATO state, alongside Canada (18 WiSENT 2) and Norway (12 WiSENT 2), to introduce FFG’s vehicle into its armed forces. Other user nations are the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. With this new order, the total number of WiSENT 2 ehicles will increase to 45 since 2015.

The armoured recovery vehicles are part of a major armoured vehicle order which Hungary has signed with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) in 2018. In addition to the armoured recovery vehicles, the contract worth €565m includes 44 newly manufactured Leopard 2A7+ main battle tanks and 24 newly manufactured PzH2000 armoured howitzers as well as 12 used Leopard 2 A4 for training purposes.

The armoured engineer vehicle kits supplied with the WiSENT 2 enable the troops to convert the armoured recovery vehicle into a fully-fledged armoured engineer vehicle within short time. (Source: ESD Spotlight)

11 Feb 20. IOC achieved for Australian Defence Force’s next-gen logistics vehicles. Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have welcomed the initial operating capability for the ADF’s $5bn next-generation logistic vehicle fleet.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price welcomed the delivery under Project Overlander LAND 121 Phase 3B and Phase 5B – 3,751 vehicles, 4,730 modules and 2,565 trailers in total will be delivered across the ADF.

Minister Reynolds said this investment will realise the potential of the nation’s well-trained and highly capable soldiers.

“These new medium, heavy and semi-trailer vehicles replace a fleet that is more than 30 years old with a next-generation vehicle and specialist modules. They will be used for a range of military deployments, from resupplying combat operations to supporting Defence’s assistance to Australian and regional communities after natural disasters,” Minister Reynolds said.

Already, the new fleet has provided enhanced support for a range of Defence operations in Australia, including the response to the Townsville floods and Defence’s ongoing contributions to Operation Bushfire Assist.

The fleet has also supported our Pacific neighbours, for both security operations and partnered exercises.

Minister Price said the success of Project Overlander would not have been possible without partnering with Rheinmetall and Haulmark Trailers Australia, together with their extensive network of Australian industry partners including Varley in Newcastle, Holmwood Highgate in Brisbane and ECLIPS in Canberra.

“This project is an example of how our investment in defence industry is not only growing our sovereign capability, but is delivering jobs and opportunities for companies right across Australia,” Minister Price said.

Project LAND 121 will deliver a networked and integrated capability as a significant contribution to the modernisation of the land forces. The new vehicles represent a significant increase in capability, replacing multiple vehicle fleets that have been in service since the early 1980s.

LAND 121 Phase 3A (lightweight and light vehicles and trailers) is acquiring a fleet of lightweight and light vehicles for operations in low-level threat environments and on humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations.

The LAND 121 Phase 3A fleet will comprise 2,146 unprotected Mercedes-Benz G-Wagons, including specialist modules, and 1,799 Haulmark trailers. The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagons are replacing the current fleet of Land Rovers.

Defence will acquire around 2,700 medium and heavy vehicles along with associated modules and approximately 1,700 trailers under LAND 121 Phase 3B. Contract signature took place in July 2013 with: Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia for vehicles and modules, and Haulmark Trailers (Australia) for trailers.

The Phase 3B fleet will include both protected vehicles (for operational deployment in high threat environments) and unprotected vehicles for operations in low-level threat environments and on humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations.

These vehicles will enhance performance and protection, and the Army’s training and logistic support capability, by providing uniformity throughout the fleet.

The vehicles will replace the current fleet of Unimog, Mack and S-Liner trucks. Subject to both companies’ performance, further quantities of vehicles, modules and trailers may be acquired under LAND 121 Phase 5B.

LAND 121 Phase 4 will acquire 1,100 Protected Mobility Vehicles-Light (PMV-L) for command, liaison, utility and reconnaissance roles. The PMV-L has been developed to provide an optimum balance of the requirements for survivability, mobility, payload, communications, usability and sustainability. (Source: Defence Connect)

08 Feb 20. US Army wades back into effort to replace Bradley vehicle. The Army is wading back into an effort to replace the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle with the release of a market survey on Feb. 7, tapping industry for ideas on what a future Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) might look like.

After receiving only one bid in its previous attempt to develop and procure the OMFV and subsequently deciding to cancel the existing solicitation last month, the Army has a new plan to move forward that seeks to avoid some of the pitfalls encountered during its first try.

The market survey itself asks companies to weigh in on what affected their decisions to participate, or not, in the previous OMFV competitive effort and how the Army might better engage with industry this time around.

Instead of a laundry list of requirements that when paired together became unachievable — especially when delivered over an ambitious fielding goal of 2026 — the Army will be giving industry roughly nine characteristics, each of which will be laid out simply enough to take up just a page-and-a-half including a signature block, Army Futures Command Commander Gen. Mike Murray told a group of reporters at the Pentagon shortly before the release of the survey.

The Army had previously laid out requirements such as the need to transport two vehicles in a C-17, for example, which turned out to be a difficult ask to industry within the timeline the Army was pushing.

While the list of characteristics did not post with the market survey, Murray said the vehicle will have to protect soldiers, keep pace in a combined arms formation, be able to upgrade over time through open architecture, and be capable of growth without significant weight increases. It also must be lethal, and able to traverse bridges and main supply routes.

Additionally, the vehicle should be transportable by rail, air or sea, and crew members have to fit in the back. An on-board training system would also be nice, Murray said, adding that the Army wants to take a look at different options for power and energy sources.

Murray also stressed the document outlining the characteristics would change as the Army learned more down the road.

Not required of industry will be physical bid samples as it previously requested. Only General Dynamics Land Systems was able to deliver a bid sample, but it did not meet all the requirements the service had laid out.

Defense News first broke the news that a Raytheon-Rheinmetall team was unable to get its Lynx combat vehicle to the United States from Germany in time and was subsequently disqualified and that BAE Systems, the incumbent, wouldn’t participate in the competition either.

The ability to see what was possible from a technology and integration standpoint “was important to us and so I wouldn’t say it was a mistake,” Murray said of the decision to require a bid. “Did it lead to some problems we had? Maybe. But I would not characterize that as a mistake.”

The Army, instead, will take a more measured approach, holding conversations with industry, requesting white papers and then choosing five prime contractor teams to design rough digital prototypes, according to the Army’s acquisition chief, Dr. Bruce Jette.

The Army plans to involve “soldier touch points” at every stage of the process and give soldiers a chance to heavily evaluate designs along the way, he said.

Murray took pains to emphasize that soldiers would be involved in the design process, calling it “soldier-centered design,” which takes a page from other modernization efforts like the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) program.

And before ever bending any metal, the service will downselect to a group of three contractors that will provide more refined and detailed digital prototypes akin to a critical design review stage.

Then the Army will choose two prime contractors to build prototypes that will be heavily tested and demonstrated in order to potentially choose a winner that would move into a manufacturing contract, Jette explained.

While the timeline was ambitious in the previous effort and Army modernization goals dictated that it had to stick to schedule over all else, a schedule or even a benchmark for the first unit equipped isn’t defined this time around. Murray said the Army will look to early conversations with industry to inform possible schedules based on what is feasible rather than setting an “arbitrary date” right up front.

The Army is also planning to look at up to five vendors for major subsystems or components, Jette said. He also noted the service wants to “encourage companies to bring forth technology” that may not want to be a prime contractor, but have capabilities like automated loaders and fire control systems as well as in-cab wireless connectivity.

“The barrier to entry is much lower for their investment,” he said. “By going to a digital design, as most do anyway, it makes it much easier for a company to participate as an [Original Equipment Manufacturer] OEM.” (Source: Defense News)

07 Feb 20. Royal Danish Army receives first upgraded Leopard 2s. The Royal Danish Army received its first Leopard 2A7 main battle tanks (MBTs) upgraded in Germany from the 2A5 version at the Dragoon Barracks in Holstebro, the Forsvaret (armed forces) announced on its website on 5 February. Colonel Anders Poulsen, commander of the Jutland Dragoon Regiment, stressed the importance of receiving a tank that meets new requirements for armour, mobility and armament, allowing instructors, mechanics, and crews to begin training before the Leopard 2A7s are transferred to the Royal Danish Army’s 1st Brigade in May. (Source: Jane’s)

12 Feb 20. US Army Seeks New JLTV Competition In 2022. The service is already slowing production of Oshkosh’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and now wants to find an alternative manufacturer —which could create logistical or legal headaches. Other Oshkosh programs are also ramping down.

As the Army moves billions into new high-tech weapons, truck-maker Oshkosh is feeling the pinch. The 2021 budget request not only decreases spending on three Oshkosh vehicles, the 10-wheel FHTV, the 6-wheel FMTV, and 4×4 JLTV: It also calls for a new competition the following fiscal year for JLTV, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle originally meant to replace the Humvee.

That’s especially worrying for the Wisconsin company, because JLTV is the youngest program of the three and the most important for the company’s long-term future. But then-Army Secretary Mark Esper — now Secretary of Defense — has publicly criticized JLTV as overly specialized for the kind of counterinsurgency conflicts the Pentagon is no longer focused on. While the Army insists it will still buy the planned total of 49,099 trucks, eventually, it keeps slowing down the annual rate and extended the deadline to complete production, which now won’t end until 2042. (That leaves the Humvee in service, at least with some units, indefinitely).

Why recompete? “We do that to drive the price down,” said Deputy Assistant Army Secretary John Daniels this morning, when my colleague Jen Judson asked about the proposal. But any new competition would be two fiscal years from now and Daniels declined to give any details.

The only other information about the plan is buried on page 102 of the fifth volume of the Army’s newly released procurement request for 2021, which also includes projections for 2022 and beyond. Under JLTV, the “justification book” says that:

“Current contract options may be exercised through 30 November 2023 assuming contractual quantity headspace is still available. Current funding indicates headspace quantity of 16,901 may be achieved in FY 2021, with competitive follow on contract award anticipated in FY 2022. A split procurement will occur between the existing Oshkosh contract and the new competitively awarded contract based on the approved acquisition strategy. The Program Office continues to gather insight from industry partners to better understand their position to ensure strong competition for the follow on contract.”

In plain English, this means Oshkosh’s current contract to build Joint Light Tactical Vehicles runs though fall 2023. Since production will continue for decades, the Army will have to award a new contract to buy more JLTVs for itself, the other services and allies. But when it comes time to award that follow-on contract, the service doesn’t want Oshkosh to be its only option: It wants at least one competitor to drive down costs.

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That sounds like Capitalism 101, but it’s not so simple to do in practice. The Army historically prefers to have large numbers of a single type of vehicle: A homogenous force allows efficiencies of scale. If you have lots of different types of vehicles doing the same job, each one requires a different training course for troops, a stockpile of unique and incompatible spare parts, its own development and testing program, and its own production line. (In fact, Nazi Germany’s fondness for small production runs of many different types of trucks, tanks, and other vehicles was yet one more reason it lost the war).

So there are two ways the Army could create competition for JLTV, each with its own difficulties:

  • Require each competitor to submit its own design, so the Army could buy a vehicle that isn’t the Oshkosh JLTV, but can do the same job. Besides the logistical headaches of a mixed fleet, the Army would also have to face the decision either to pay competitors or to develop their JLTV alternatives – i.e. at least partially at the taxpayers’ expense – or require would-be bidders to assume all the cost and risk – a barrier to entry that would limit even a big company’s interest in competing.
  • Require Oshkosh to share its design with potential competitors, so the Army could buy a vehicle that’s identical to the Oshkosh JLTV but built by someone else, potentially at a lower price. Yes, there are competitions that work this way, but they typically require the government to own the rights to the design. Since Oshkosh owns the intellectual property for JLTV, the Army would have to pay them for it – assuming they’re willing to sell.

Neither the Army nor Oshkosh responded to our questions. If they do, we’ll update this story or publish a sequel when we learn more. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)

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About Oshkosh Defense

Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services. For decades Oshkosh has been mobilizing military and security forces around the globe by offering a full portfolio of heavy, medium, light and highly protected military vehicles to support our customers’ missions. In addition, Oshkosh offers advanced technologies and vehicle components such as TAK-4® independent suspension systems, TerraMax™ unmanned ground vehicle solutions, Command Zone™ integrated control and diagnostics system, and ProPulse® diesel electric and on-board vehicle power solutions, to provide our customers with a technical edge as they fulfill their missions. Every Oshkosh vehicle is backed by a team of defense industry experts and complete range of sustainment and training services to optimize fleet readiness and performance. Oshkosh Defense, LLC is an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK].

To learn more about Oshkosh Defense, please visit us at www.oshkoshdefense.com.

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