Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy on Thursday confirmed the service will buy 1,900 fewer Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) than originally planned after including the program among a slew of cuts in its fiscal year 2020 budget request intended to shift funds towards development of future weapon systems.
McCarthy told attendees at a Brookings Institution event the Army will reduce the program by $800 million with plans to finalize its JLTV fleet at 49,000 vehicles.
“There’s no doubt the Army needs it in the future, just not at the numbers of the original program of record when the requirements of a high-intensity land conflict are considered,” McCarthy said during his remarks.
JLTV is one of 186 programs the Army has either eliminated or downgraded as part of its process to find nearly $33 billion the program has shifted away from low-tier priorities and will invest in development of its modernization programs over the next five years.
The Army’s tactical wheeled vehicle fleet is now set to stand at over 100,000 vehicles, with the 49,000 JLTVs, 55,000 Humvees and 800 Infantry Squad vehicles.
“It was the size of the fleet. And it was getting to a point where it was being difficult to manage. You were buying more than you needed,” McCarthy said during a Thursday roundtable with reporters.
Oshkosh Defense [OSK] is the current contractor for JLTV after receiving a $6.7 billion JLTV production contract in 2015 for 17,000 vehicles.
George Mansfield, Oshkosh Defense’s vice president for joint programs, told Defense Daily on Wednesday the company was not aware of the Army’s plan to adjust its acquisition objective for JLTV (Defense Daily, March 13).
Mansfield noted the Marine Corps has previously said it intends to increase its own procurement goal from 5,500 to 9,901 vehicles
A full-rate production on Oshkosh’s current contract, which runs through 2023, is expected this spring.
McCarthy told reporters the cuts in the Army’s $182.3 billion FY ’20 budget request, which also include adjustments to the Bradley fighting vehicle and CH-47 Chinook programs among others, are a signal to industry where investments should be prioritized to meet future weapon system requirements.
“We’ve been telegraphing this to industry that we needed to divest assets so we could finance the future,” McCarthy said. “We’ve signaled to industry that there is a transition point to allow them the opportunity to adjust and compete for future products.”
The Army is expected soon to release a market survey to begin its competition for JLTV follow-on work (Defense Daily, Feb. 5).