While at the start of the week there had been just three teams competing for the Army/Marine Corps’ Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program, by Wednesday there were six.
The teams that we’ve been covering since 2008 consisted of BAE Systems and Navistar; General Tactical Vehicles (General Dynamics and AM General); and Lockheed Martin. Yesterday, we found out that Navistar was breaking away form BAE and striking out on its own with the Saratoga light tactical vehicle. And today, AM General and Oshkosh announced that they were also both submitting bids for the engineering manufacturing development (EMD) phase. AM General will continue to work with General Dynamics on their joint project while pursuing their independent bid. (To be a fly on the wall at that next meeting, huh?) The company is calling its truck the Blast Resistant Vehicle-Off Road (BRV-O).
Oshkosh, whose bid with Northrop Grumman was shut out of the program when the Technology Development phase was awarded in 2008, is submitting its Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV) as a candidate for the program.
In response to my post yesterday where I wrote that BAE Systems is unsure where it will manufacture its JLTVs now that Navistar has left the team, (and a Tweet where I probably got a little too excited) company spokesperson Stephanie Bissell Serkhoshian emails with a fair rebuttal. “We think it’s premature to make a decision on production today given that it begins in 2016. We’ll have all of our production processes in place so that we can competitively make a selection that gives the government best value based on the industrial base at that time.”
The Army is expected to select up to three vehicles some time this summer to participate in the 27-month EMD phase of the program, and then purchase about 50,000 trucks, while the Marine Corps has said it will purchase about 2,500.