By Ann Roosevelt

The Army continues to hone its efforts toward a new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) by making changes in its Draft Statement of Work for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD), even as vehicle deliveries continue for the Technology Development (TD) phase.

JLTV, a multi-service initiative for a family of future light tactical vehicles, is currently in the TD Phase. A Milestone C production decision in 2013 is expected to be followed by full production in 2015.

The General Tactical Vehicles (GTV) team of General Dynamics [GD] and AM General recently said it delivered two right-hand operation (RHO) JLTVs, one companion trailer and supporting equipment on schedule to the government for the TD phase testing.

The U.S. and Australia’s Land Force Capability Modernization Project Arrangement (PA) was went into effect in late January 2009 (Defense Daily, Feb. 27, 2009). The PA enables tactical vehicle interoperability and integration between the two countries. Delivery of the RHO JLTVs follows GTV’s previous ahead-of-schedule deliveries of armor samples, ballistic hulls, seven vehicles and four trailers and spare parts for the TD phase.

Test and evaluation of the RHO JLTVs includes a five-month reliability and durability test and evaluation process at the Monegeetta Proving Ground in Monegeetta, Victoria, Australia. Test site management for GTV will be performed by General Dynamics Land Systems-Australia and supported by Australian in-country suppliers.

“As our military prepares for future coalition operations, similarity of tactical vehicle solutions across allies will enhance global interoperability and reduce the maintenance and logistical burden,” said Mark McCoy, U.S. Army JLTV product manager. “Australia’s participation in the JLTV program will help reduce overall program risk through the testing and evaluation of additional prototype vehicles.”

The objective of the TD phase is to demonstrate the integration of mature technologies as a complete system, provide an assessment of the technical and performance risks relevant to entering the EMD phase, and establish an achievable set of requirements for the JLTV Program.

Three contractor teams are working on the current 27-month TD phase: GTV, BAE Systems-Navistar Defense LLC, an affiliate of Navistar International Corp. [NAV], and Lockheed Martin [LMT]-BAE. Each delivered seven prototype vehicles blending performance, payload and protection beyond current vehicles.

For the delivered prototype vehicles, concurrent testing is taking place at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.

“Armor coupon testing has been completed,” McCoy told Defense Daily. Ballistic cab testing began during the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2010 and ran through the beginning of the third quarter of FY’10; ballistic testing of the hulls will continue into the first quarter of FY’11 for the enhanced protection vehicles. RAM and performance testing began in the third quarter of FY ’10 and will run through the second quarter of FY ’11, and prototype ballistic testing will beginning in the first quarter of FY ’11 and run through the second quarter of FY ’11.

The JLTV test results will be an integral part of the requirements management process, McCoy said. Interim Test Reports from Yuma and Aberdeen will record anything that doesn’t comply with the requirement. That data will be fed into the JLTV requirements integrated product team and ultimately the Knowledge Point Review process. This is the formal process that modifies and sets the capabilities in the JLTV Capabilities Development Document, which will be proposed to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council.

Meanwhile, the Army is working on documents for the JLTV EMD phase posting them on a web site and updating them to reflect change:

For example, Draft sections C and E of the Scope of Work are posted, and clearly state they are pre-decisional and expected to show further changes before the Request for Proposals is released.

For example, in Draft section C, the Army now has identified EMD base vehicles, including associated trailers that would be fabricated and tested by government and contractor personnel:

General Purpose Mobility–JLTV-A-GP;

Battle Command On-The-Move–JLTV-B-BCOM; and the

Utility Vehicle-Shelter Carrier-Prime Mover–JLTV-C-UTL.

Additionally, EMD high priority vehicles shall be produced and limited testing done by the government and contractor on: The Heavy Guns Carrier–JLTV-A-HGC; the Close Combat Weapons Carrier–JLTV-A-CCWC; the Reconnaissance vehicle–JLTV-A-Recon; and the Two litter ambulance–JLTV-C-Amb.

The rest of the JLTV family of vehicles will be designed to the critical design review level only, but the option would remain to fabricate and test vehicles after Milestone C: The Infantry Carrier–JLTV-B-IC and the Reconnaissance vehicle–JLTV-B-Recon.

“The JLTV Family of Vehicles (FoV) design shall maximize commonality within JLTV payload categories, and across payload categories, as a key means of reducing life cycle cost,” the Section C Draft said.

The draft document also now describes the FoV configurations: In payload Category A: three Army/Marine subconfigurations: the JLTV-A-GP, general purpose mobility, JLTV-A-HGC, heavy guns carrier, and JLTV-A- CCWC, close combat weapons carrier. The JLTV-A-Recon, reconnaissance vehicle would be developed for the Army.

Payload category B subconfigurations for the Army/Marines would be the JLTV-B-IC, infantry carrier fire team; the JLTV-B-BCOTM battle command on the move, and for the Army–the JLTV-B-BCOTM, battle command on the move.

For payload category C, the Army/Marines subconfigurations would be the JLTV-C-UTL, shelter carrier, utility, prime mover; and the JLTV-C-Amb, two litter ambulance.