[UPDATED with Pentagon confirmation] The better-protected, more-mobile replacement for the Humvee took a big step forward this month, when all three competitors’ vehicles completed a crucial series of military tests. All three have also completed a government Production Readiness Review to certify their ability to mass-produce their vehicle. Next comes the final Request For Proposals (RFP) for… Keep reading →
UPDATED: INCLUDES TEXT OF OBAMA SPEECH AS PREPARED Just hours before President Barack Obama goes on the air to explain his strategy to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the US military released revealing figures on the airstrikes against them so far. The new data further demolishes the idea that this… Keep reading →
[CORRECTED data on competitor Oshkosh] LOCKHEED MARTIN “LIGHTHOUSE,” SUFFOLK, VA: “We’re in a really tough competition…a knife fight in [a] phone booth,” said Tom Kelly, who runs Lockheed Martin’s government relations for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program. In the defense contracting world writ large, Lockheed is the 800-pound gorilla. In the three-way competition to replace… Keep reading →
AUSA: It may sound ambitious, even hubristic, that the Army wants to fold all its modernization programs into a single 30-year plan. But the long-range look is all about living within limits.
The service wants to keep researching and developing 21st century weapons like the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) truck and the tank-like Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV), but it is also knows it must keep 1980s designs like the Humvee and the M1 Abrams tank for years to come. This sets up a nasty cycle. The more the new stuff gets cut, the longer the old stuff has to last, which requires careful investment in maintenance and upgrades. Keep reading →
PENTAGON: Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos laid out today the Corps’ tricky balancing act, simultaneously cutting personnel, spreading out weapons programs, and shifting from counterinsurgency on land in Afghanistan to seaborne crisis response in the Pacific.
The big Marine Corps news of the last 24 hours was the award of development contracts to three firms, Lockheed Martin, AM General, and Oshkosh, to work on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to replace Army and Marine Humvees. The Marines nearly backed out of the program in 2011 over cost concerns. While the Marines are committed to the JLTV today, they are buying far fewer than once hoped. Keep reading →
[updated 4:00 pm with AM General comment] The Army and Marines took a big step towards replacing their vulnerable Humvees and lumbering MRAPs yesterday evening when they awarded contracts to defense giant Lockheed Martin, truck maker Oshkosh, and Humvee manufacturer AM General to develop alternatives for a new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).
The military wants the JLTV to combine the offroad mobility of an unarmored Humvee with the protection against mines and roadside bombs of the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) trucks. It’s hard to demonstrate protection to reporters without trying to blow them up, but on Wednesday — just hours before the award announcement — Oshkosh Corp. demonstrated the mobility of its JLTV candidate, which the company calls the L-ATV, by giving reporters a ride. Keep reading →
After years of ups and downs and threats of cancellation, the Army and Marines are about to award contracts to develop a new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to replace the venerable and vulnerable Humvee. In an exclusive interview with Breaking Defense, retired Vice Chief of Army Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli — the man who did more than anyone to save the JLTV from cancellation — argued that the new armored truck is critical not just to protect US troops but to carry the fight to the enemy in future wars.
“When I was vice [chief of staff], we were about ready to lose JLTV because of the cost; the Marine corps and the Army were heading in two different directions; and it was really [Marine Corps Assistant Commandant] Joe Dunford and I who said wait a second, we really need this vehicle, we can’t afford this service parochialism,” Chiarelli recalled. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The military Reserves and National Guard have spent a decade operating with unprecedented intensity alongside the regular active-duty force in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, as budget cuts loom, their leaders are fighting hard to keep the funding needed to keep their edge in both training and equipment. Going back to the sleepy days of “weekend warriors” rehearsing with hand-me-down hardware is not an option, they argued: The nation needs them ready, and a new generation of Guard and Reserve troops accustomed to real-world operations won’t accept anything less. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Defense firms working on the Humvee upgrade effort are setting their sights on the Marines after Pentagon officials killed the Army-led program, industry sources say.
Marine Corps officials who observed testing on some early industry designs for the Modernized Expanded Capability Vehicle — the official moniker of the Humvee recapitalization program — were more enthusiastic than their Army counterparts about the program, according to an industry source. Marine observers were asking questions and making suggestions on how to improve the MECV design, whereas Army observers simply “stood in the back taking notes,” the source said. Humvee builder AM General, a Textron-Granite Tactical team, along with Navistar — which builds a version of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle — were seen as the top contenders for the MECV program. Keep reading →