Lockheed Martin [LMT] yesterday said its final Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) produced for the program’s Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase has rolled off the assembly line, joining a fleet of previously completed vehicles that will be delivered for government testing and evaluation this summer.

Lockheed Martin, AM General and Oshkosh [OSK] are competing for the JLTV program and preparing EMD vehicles for testing.

Earlier this month at a media day at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., program office officials said they anticipate automatic budget cuts could slow the program, but they are on schedule for a Fiscal Year 2015 production award (Defense Daily, June 17).

Lockheed Martin JLTV at MCB Quantico

However, JLTV is one of the acquisition programs that could be affected by the decisions made on the Army’s force structure reorganization, and complicated if full sequestration kicks in. Announcing some decisions Tuesday at the Pentagon, Army officials said acquisition plans are still in flux, and would likely be made clearer in the FY ’15-’19 budget now being determined (Defense Daily, June 26).

Lockheed Martin’s delivery to the Army and Marine Corps for long-term testing and evaluation is scheduled for Aug. 22.

The Lockheed Martin team produced a total of 22 JLTV test vehicles, manufactured at BAE Systems’ Sealy, Texas, manufacturing facility, a world leader in the production of military and severe-duty wheeled vehicles.

“Lockheed Martin is committed to providing our soldiers and Marines with a vehicle of unequaled capability and dependability, and one that is affordable both to buy and to operate,” said Scott Greene, vice president of ground vehicles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “We are excited to get these vehicles into the hands of the customer. Early break-in testing is under way, and we are confident that our JLTV design will serve our servicemen and women well.”

Following successes in the program’s Technology Development phase, the Army and Marine Corps awarded Lockheed Martin a $65 million contract in August 2012 to continue developing JLTV through the EMD phase.

Initial tests demonstrated that the Lockheed Martin design provided blast protection equivalent to much larger mine-resistant vehicles in service today.

The Lockheed Martin Joint Light Tactical Vehicle balances the iron triangle of protection, performance and payload while maintaining affordability. Compared to general-purpose vehicles currently in service, the Lockheed Martin JLTV is expected to provide greatly improved crew protection and mobility, lower logistical support costs, superior fuel efficiency and state-of-the-art connectivity with other platforms and systems, the company said in a statement.

The team’s current JLTV design maintains the proven force protection, transportability and reliability of the earlier Technology Development model, while significantly reducing weight and cost.