An ALE system is launched from a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter, as testing commences during Project Convergence in September 2020.

AM General unseats Oshkosh to build Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

WASHINGTON- AM General has shaken Joint manufacturer of light tactical vehicles Oshkosh Defense in the US Army’s new competition to build more vehicles, winning a contract valued at $8.66 billion.

The Army awarded AM General – which lost to Oshkosh in the original 2015 competition to build JLTVs – a requirements contract with five base years plus five optional one-year order periods to supply 20,682 JLTVs and 9,8333 trailers for the joint force as well as foreign customers.

“This competitive follow-on production contract has been part of JLTV’s acquisition strategy from inception and has focused on determining best value that includes maintaining JLTV’s capacity today, while ensuring that ‘it can be upgraded in the future with the latest technologies. the army said in a Feb. 9 statement.

“From the start of production, the government obtained the data rights to the JLTV technical data package from the original equipment manufacturer, which the program leverages to organize future production competitions and control the configuration of the platform and the price of the vehicle in the future”, Brig. Gen. Luke Peterson, the Army’s program director for combat support and combat service support, said.

“These government-held data rights allowed the program to compete with this follow-on production contract with much better control over production setup and costs,” he continued.

In a statement, Jim Cannon, chief executive of AM General, said the company was “humbled and honoured” to receive the latest deal.

JLTV will be built in a military production facility at AM General’s 96-acre Mishawaka manufacturing campus in Indiana. Deliveries are expected to begin 17 months after contract award, according to the company.

In a statement, Oshkosh said it was “disappointed to learn of the government’s decision.”

“As a legacy manufacturer, only Oshkosh’s JLTV proposition has leveraged JLTV’s substantial experience and established infrastructure, while providing the best upgrades to the JLTV platform,” added the company, noting that it is continuing a debriefing of the government.

GM Defense was originally scheduled to bid as prime contractor, but elected to become a sub-contractor to one of the bidders. The company has not identified this partner.

Navistar told Defense News earlier this month that after reviewing the solicitation, the company “decided to focus its efforts and resources on other DoD wheeled tactical vehicle opportunities.”

Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense won the JLTV contract in 2015 to replace part of the aging Humvee fleet, beating out both Humvee manufacturer AM General and competitor Lockheed Martin.

Oshkosh has built nearly 19,000 JLTVs to date, supplying them to the US Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy as well as the armies of Montenegro, Brazil, the Slovenia and Lithuania. The company is under contract to build more than 22,679 vehicles and expects additional orders through November, according to a company spokesperson.

Belgium, North Macedonia and Romania are already planning to buy the vehicles; the UK, Portugal and Greece have expressed interest in purchasing the system.

The planned Army supply target is 49,099 trucks in total.

The service launched its latest JLTV competition in early 2022 and the Army has received several offers, Peterson told Defense News last fall.

To take advantage of technological advances since the conception of the JLTV, the Army has added several new capabilities, such as corrosion protection, improved fuel efficiency and anti-idling technology, as part of the new competition. The military also said it plans to include lithium-ion batteries in the base capability of the new JLTV.

“The JLTV A2 design is the first wheeled tactical vehicle with a core architecture using lithium-ion batteries, which is a key component of anti-idle capability,” the Army statement said.

While the military never set a requirement for a hybrid JLTV under the new competition, Oshkosh unveiled a version in January 2021.

The military plans to migrate wheeled tactical vehicles to hybrid and all-electric versions over the next few decades.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering ground warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science in Journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College.

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