Like its competitors competing for the Army/Marine Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program, Oskhkosh Defense [OSK], is completing the last engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) work on its vehicles, and preparing for proposals for production work, company officials said.
John Bryant, senior vice president, domestic programs, said Oshkosh Defense said they’re working on the second draft of their proposal for JLTV production. The EMD phase ends next month, and once proposals for production are in, they expect a 60-day turnaround.
Source selection, government approvals and milestones are likely to result in a contract award in August 2015, he said.
President of Oshkosh Defense John Urias said, “We have the right team at the right time, and we understand the requirements”
Oshkosh Defense is competing with Lockheed Martin [LMT] and AM General on the program.
Urias said with 14 months of government testing in the current EMD phase now complete, some changes have been made to their JLTV offering.
“We test to learn, we expect to make some changes…quite frankly, we didn’t have to make all that many,” he said.
Bryant said the JLTV testing was very robust, compared to the M-ATV or MRAP vehicles, “where time was of the essence, in response to urgent needs, and there was rapid acquisition, rapid testing, and rapid fielding.”
With JLTV, the government was more deliberate, they tested everything, he said. “And because it was more deliberate, Oshkosh invested IR&D, and optimized the design for all those hundreds of requirements,” he said.
The international community is “keenly aware” of what’s going on in the JLTV effort, Urias said. A lot of countries are buying Oshkosh’s M-ATV, and some have said they want to buy JLTV now, before the United States, but there are no sales. They’re just waiting.
The Oshkosh JLTV is smaller and more capable than the M-ATV, and incorporates all the lessons learned from that program.
While the EMD contract ends next month, Bryant said all development testing is complete, and they’ve transitioned into limited user test, where warfighters will seek to validate not only that the Oshkosh JLTV meets all its requirements, but does it in a way that is useable and ergonomic, is easy to operate, fix and is comfortable for the troops.
As the Army portion of the LUT wraps up, the vehicle is reconfigured and will be used for Marine missions.
The point is to ensure the suitability and effectiveness of the vehicle to meet Army requirements.
Marines are oriented a bit more on off-road requirements, the ability to deploy on amphibious ships, boarding requirements, and on landing craft operations through the surf.
Congress has shown “acceptance and support” for the Humvee-replacing JLTV, Urias said.
The deliberate program allows companies like Oshkosh to be “able to focus and refine and stretch ourselves, with every dollar we’ve been able to put into this vehicle (be) beneficial to the warfighter,” Urias said.
“We’re immensely proud of our vehicle, we are looking forward to the final stretch and looking forward the results of the final evaluation,” Urias said.