The Marine Corps is planning to increase its buy of Oshkosh [OSK]-built Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to 15,000 vehicles as it looks to fully replace its Humvee fleet, a company official told Defense Daily on Monday.

The decision to increase the acquisition objective, previously set at 9,901 vehicles, arrives after the Marine Corps declared the JLTV program reached initial operational capability a year ahead of schedule.

A Joint Light Tactical Vehicle displays its overall capabilities during a live demonstration at the School of Infantry West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Feb. 27, 2019. The JLTV consists of multiple platforms capable of completing a variety of missions while providing increased protection and mobility for personnel across the Marine Corps. (Official Marine Corps video by Sgt. Timothy R. Smithers/Released)

“As the JLTV is the only light tactical vehicle that offers the necessary protection, connectivity and extreme off-road mobility to maneuver with combat formations against near peer adversaries, we’re certainly not surprised the USMC would want to increase their overall JLTV buy,” Alex Hittle, an Oshkosh Defense spokesman, said.

Oshkosh beat out AM General, the maker of the Army and Marine Corps’ Humvees, to win the JLTV competition in 2015 with a $6.7 billion low-rate production contract.

The Marine Corps had originally set its acquisition objective at 5,000 vehicles before pushing it to over 9,000, and now ultimately deciding to eventually replace its entire Humvee fleet with JLTVs.

“The JLTV is lightyears ahead of its predecessor, the [Humvee], and will bring along with it performance and capabilities today’s battlefield has simply never seen before,” Hittle said.

Marine Corps officials announced the IOC designation for JLTV last week after the vehicle, noting the tactical vehicles have been fully fielded fielded to the Marine Corps’ schoolhouses as well as an infantry battalion, with plans to deliver the Oshkosh [OSK]-built JLTVs to the I and III Marine Expeditionary Forces before the end of September (Defense Daily, Aug. 12). 

The Army has indicated it plans to slow down its planned JLTV buy over the next five years as it looks to shift funds over to modernization priorities, while senior officials have reiterated that the service’s acquisition objective remains at just over 49,000 vehicles pending an assessment of its future vehicle fleet (Defense Daily, March 28).