The Marine Corps is looking to save up to $100 million with a plan to remove the Gunner Protection Kits (GPK) from its High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) fleet and install them on its new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), which begins fielding next year, officials said July 25.
Officials said repurposing the proven protections kits for the JLTVs, which will be used to phase out the HMMWV, will cut costs and ensure the new vehicles are more survivable.
The decision follows a successful Proof of Principle (PoP) this spring by officials from the Marine Corps Infantry Weapons division to remove the GPK’s Transparent Armor Gun Shield from an HMMWV and placing it on a JLTV.
“The exchange program is no cost to the government, and no money changes hands. In exchange, the vendor buys equipment we may need like [Transparent Armor Gun Shield] covers or ring mounts for the JLTV, and they ship it wherever we need it,” Andy Rodgers, Marine Corps program manager for Light Tactical Vehicles, said in statement. “As we field the JLTV, we’ll collect the HMMWV, harvest the parts, install them and then return the new vehicles [to the units].”
The GPK shield will now be installed on all Heavy Guns Carrier JLTV variants.
Kevin Marion, a logistics management specialist for the Marines’ Infantry Weapons division, said the PoP will be used as a guide for JLTV technicians to run the installation process.
“The PoP was successful. We started with existing [instruction] manuals for the [Transparent Armor Gun Shield], and then added steps for putting it on the new vehicle. In addition to documenting the steps, it also gave us a chance to identify any parts that can’t be reused because the degree of serviceability is questionable,” Marion said.
All JLTVs are expected to be installed with radios, antennas and other communication equipment harvested from HMMWVs, according to the Marine Corps.
“It’s our responsibility as Marine Corps Systems Command to be good stewards of taxpayer money, so if we have equipment that is in good condition, we should go ahead and use it,” Marion said.
The JLTV is developed by Oshkosh [OSK].