A key Army officer is “happy” with the progress of the Defense Department’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) competition as a key Feb. 10 deadline for bids approaches.

“(JLTV) looks pretty solid,” Army Deputy Chief of Staff G-8 Force Development Director Maj. Gen. Robert Dyess told reporters Tuesday during a briefing at the Pentagon. “We’re very comfortable with where our JLTV is right now.”

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is a major Army and Marine Corps  program. Photo: Lockheed Martin
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is a major Army and Marine Corps program. Photo: Lockheed Martin

JLTV, a joint Army-Marine Corps program, is intended to replace the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), the current light tactical vehicle. The JLTV will provide defensive measures to protect troops while in transport, increase payload capability and achieve commonality of parts and components to reduce the overall lifecycle cost of the vehicle.

Lockheed Martin [LMT]-BAE SYSTEMS, AM General and Oshkosh Defense [OSK] are leading teams fighting for the JLTV contract, which is expected in July. The three contractor teams did not return a request for comment by press time on whether they submitted their bids.

DoD requested $457 million in fiscal year 2016 for the JLTV program, enough to procure a total low-rate initial production (LRIP) buy of 559 vehicles: 450 for the Army and 109 for the Marine Corps.  The Army posted a second amendment to its Dec. 12 request for proposals (RFP) issued for the LRIP and full-rate production (FRP) portion of the competition. A question-and-answer period runs through Thursday.

The Army, on behalf of itself and the Marine Corps, will select a winner and issue a single contract award. The winning contractor would build about 17,000 JLTVs for the Army and Marine Corps throughout three years of LRIP and five years of FRP. The first Army unit would be equipped with vehicles by fiscal year 2018.

The Marine Corps, whose 5,500-vehicle purchase would be filled at the beginning of production, would reach initial operational capability (IOC) in FY ’18 and finish its buy in FY ’22. The Army’s full buy wouldn’t be complete until 2040 (Defense Daily, Dec. 12).