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Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): And Then There Were SIX?

Three industry teams awarded technology development contracts submit JLTV EMD proposals...and so do three new entrants

In response to the government’s request for proposal released on Jan. 26, 2012, at least six industry teams have submitted responses for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) program.

Companies/teams acknowledging proposal submissions include: BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman; General Tactical Vehicles (a joint venture between General Dynamics Land Systems and AM General); Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems; Oshkosh Defense; Navistar; and a separate entry from AM General LLC.

AM General BRV-O

The AM General BRV-O. AM General photo.

Of note is the fact that the JLTV EMD phase is an open competition that is not restricted to the three teams that were recipients of earlier JLTV Technology Development (TD) phase contract awards.

U.S. Army Program Executive officer (PEO) for Combat Support and Combat Service Support Kevin Fahey highlighted the expanded competitive EMD environment during the recent Association of the U.S. Army Winter Symposium and Exhibition in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

BAE JLTV

The BAE Systems Valanx offering for the JLTV program. Photo courtesy of Valanx.

Fahey said that the JLTV strategy “was always that at the end of the TD phase to have full and open competition. So even though we awarded three industry partners contracts for TD, there were some industry that, because they knew that it would be full and open for the following phase, continued to develop their own trucks that also will be competing for the EMD program.”

Coincidentally, the industry EMD phase submissions were made on the same day that senior service leaders were highlighting the status of JLTV and other programs before the Airland Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

GTV Eagle

General Tactical Vehicles’ Eagle entrant for the JLTV contest is based on the Eagle IV vehicle manufactured by General Dynamics European Land Systems. Photo courtesy of GDELS

In their prepared combined testimony, Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition Logistics and Technology Lt. Gen. William Phillips, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-3/5/7 Lt. Gen. John Campbell, and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Lt. Gen. Keith Walker, offered JLTV as one example of how “the Army has continued to make progress on changing the paradigm for acquisition to one that emphasizes affordability and agility throughout the acquisition cycle.”

Together with Nett Warrior and Ground Combat Vehicle, the leaders highlighted JLTV as a program “where we have already shown success in revising military requirements to avoid unnecessary cost and to develop executable strategies. For instance, in the JLTV

LMCO JLTV

One of the Lockheed Martin-led team’s JLTV prototypes. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

program, a thorough review enabled us to revise our acquisition strategy, which reduced the schedule for the next development phase from 48 to 33 months while reducing the projected cost of the vehicle by $400 million, a 50 percent reduction.”

They noted that the presidential budget submission for FY’13 “fully funds JLTV engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) using an acquisition strategy that maximizes full and open competition opportunities for interested companies and reduces EMD costs and schedule,” adding that the program is scheduled for a Milestone B decision [allowing contract awards/entry into the EMD phase of the program] in July 2012.

Navistar Saratoga

Navistar’s Saratoga is a separate entrant for Navistar, which was also teamed with BAE Systems  for the Valanx in the technology development phase. Photo courtesy of Navistar

As outlined in the Jan. 2012 JLTV concept of operations, the vehicle family will be comprised of two variants – a two-seat and a four-seat variant – and a companion trailer (JLTV-T). The two-seat variant, known as the Combat Support Vehicle (CSV), has one base vehicle platform, the Utility (JLTV-UTL). The four-seat variant, or Combat Tactical Vehicle (CTV), has two base vehicle platforms: the General Purpose (JLTV-GP) and the Close Combat Weapons Carrier (JLTV-CCWC). The base vehicle platforms will exist in a variety of configurations through the installation of kits and mission-essential equipment required to perform their primary operational role.

Under the EMD phase, the government plans to award “up to three” EMD contracts that will cover the delivery of 22 prototype vehicles and other equipment for testing.

Oshkosh LATV

The Oshkosh LATV entrant for the JLTV program. Photo courtesy of Oshkosh

Along with the evolution in both requirements and resulting procurement strategy noted in the testimony above, the JLTV program has also experienced an interesting evolution on the industry side as teams have formed, changed, modified, and reformed over the past few years.

The most obvious example of this can be seen in participation by companies like Northrop Grumman (now teamed with BAE Systems) and Oshkosh. The two companies had previously been teamed together (in 2008) in an unsuccessful effort to obtain one of three technology development (TD) phase contracts for the JLTV program (the TD contracts were awarded to BAE Systems/Navistar; General Tactical Vehicles; and Lockheed Martin). As noted above, another interesting industry evolution has involved Navistar and AM General pursuing their own bids for the EMD phase.

Over the next several days, DMN will post a story on each contender in the EMD phase of the JLTV program.

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...