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Building the Perfect Beast

The company’s design is based on the combat-proven Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) chassis integrated with an existing hull that was developed and successfully tested for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program.

Oshkosh Defense teamed with Plasan North America for the M-ATV armor solution. Plasan also developed the armor system used on more than 5,000 legacy MRAPs and thousands of Oshkosh Armored Cab MTVRs already in theater.

“We are proud that Oshkosh was chosen to provide its M-ATV offer to the U.S. armed forces. Our M-ATV design combines the crew protection warfighters have come to expect in MRAP vehicles with the extreme mobility and durability needed to negotiate Afghanistan’s mountainous off-road terrain,” said Robert G. Bohn, Oshkosh Corporation chairman and CEO. “Due to the urgent need of our armed forces for a survivable and highly mobile vehicle, our corporation’s No. 1 priority is meeting the department’s accelerated delivery schedule of the Oshkosh M-ATV. Oshkosh Corporation will put whatever resources are necessary to meet or exceed the government’s delivery schedule. While we believe we can meet or exceed the government’s current delivery requirements, we intend to enter into discussions with other manufacturers to determine if they can assist in the production of the Oshkosh M-ATV.”

At the time of the award, projections called for the initial M-ATVs delivered under this order to be available to TACOM LCMC in July 2009.


While the projected accelerated deliveries of M-ATVs highlight the abilities of government and industry to meet the needs of today’s warfighters, other efforts are under way to meet projected needs after those operations are concluded.

As its name implies, the JLTV program emerged from joint service tactical wheeled vehicle modernization efforts like the Marine Corps’ Combat Tactical Vehicle (CTV) and the Army’s Future Tactical Truck System (FTTS) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD).

Supported by congressional language in the FY 06 Authorization Act, the diverse service exploration efforts were focused toward a common JLTV family of vehicles (FoV) that would be procured “In response to an operational need and an aging fleet of light tactical wheeled vehicles. …” One early program overview further clarified that “the Joint Services have developed a requirement for a new tactical wheeled vehicle platform that will provide increased force protection, survivability, and improved capacity over the current up-armored HMMWV (UAH) while balancing mobility and transportability requirements with total ownership costs. The basic JLTV chassis shall be a wheeled vehicle that is capable of performing in a full range of military operations (ROMO).”

As the program evolved through early concept phases, JLTV focused on the development and production of a family of vehicles consisting of 10 vehicle sub configurations (general-purpose mobility; infantry carrier, fire team; reconnaissance; command and control on the move; heavy guns carrier; close combat weapons carrier; utility; ambulance (configurations B and C); shelter carrier/utility/prime mover) in three payload categories, together with companion trailers.

Eight industry teams developed proposals for the Technology Development (TD) phase of the JLTV program, which has expanded into a joint Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) program, with the Army designated as the lead service.

After conducting written and oral discussions with the original offerors, Army Materiel Command representatives requested the submission of final proposal revisions from six offerors.

On Oct. 29, 2008, the U.S. Army announced the award of three JLTV TD contracts: BAE Systems Land & Armament Systems, Ground Systems Division, Santa Clara, Calif.; General Tactical Vehicles (a joint venture of General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc., and AM General LLC), Sterling Heights, Mich.; and Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego, Owego, N.Y.

Government representatives described the awards as “the culmination of over four years of effort on projects which laid the foundation for the JLTV,” adding that the services had “also entered into initial discussions with Australia, the United Kingdom, and other NATO and non-NATO countries per guidance from the Defense Acquisition Executive.”

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