WASHINGTON: It’s six days until the largest defense conference of the year, the Association of the US Army’s annual meeting, and here at Breaking Defense our email runneth over. Amidst the missives touting everything from “e-learning solutions” to free steak dinners for reporters, though, this one in particular caught our eye. On first sight, it’s a… 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 →
AM General’s corporate ancestors built jeeps in World War II. The company designed and still builds the military’s iconic Humvee. But in the battle to build the Humvee’s replacement, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, AM General is ironically not the incumbent but the scrappy underdog.
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 →
[UPDATED 12:45 pm] Truck maker Navistar is withdrawing the protest it filed Friday with the Government Accountability Office over the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program, company spokeswoman Elissa Koc told Breaking Defense this morning.
Had Navistar persisted, its protest probably would have delayed JLTV development for months while the GAO investigated whether the military ran the competition fairly. Keep reading →
Three very different teams are contending to build the Humvee’s replacement, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Breaking Defense weighs their strengths and weaknesses.
Last week, the Army and Marines slashed a crowded field of competitors in half, awarding contracts for “engineering and manufacturing development” of JLTV prototypes to aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, truck maker Oshkosh, and Humvee manufacturer AM General. The choices surprised many observers because only one of the three, Lockheed, had won in the previous round, in 2008, when the military awarded three “technology development” contracts. A major restructuring of the program last year had rendered many of the original criteria irrelevant, because — facing a cancellation threat from the Senate Appropriations Committee — the Army and Marines had trimmed back their ambitions for the new vehicle to contain spiralling costs. 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 →