Oshkosh Defense [OSK] announced Monday evening it is protesting the Army’s decision to award the follow-on Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) production contract to AM General


“After participating in the government’s post-award debriefing process, we have significant concerns regarding the evaluation of the proposals under the solicitation that support an independent review,” Tim Bleck, president of Oshkosh Defense, said in a statement. “We believe the government’s evaluation did not properly review the financial, technical, and manufacturing capabilities offered to select the best value and lowest risk solution to deliver the JLTV.”

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)

AM General last month beat out current JLTV manufacturer Oshkosh Defense for the potential 10-year, $8.7 billion re-compete production contract, which may cover delivery of up to 20,682 JLTVs and up to 9,883 JLTV Trailers (Defense Daily, Feb. 9).

Along with the contract win, AM General received an initial $230.9 million JLTV production order from the Army, with deliveries expected to begin within 17 months.

The Army has yet to confirm details on how a potential stop work order may affect the production timeline for the new A2 model of the JLTV.

Oshkosh Defense won the original JLTV competition in 2015 and has delivered more than 19,000 vehicles and 3,500 JLTV trailers to date.

 In a statement following the contract announcement, Oshkosh Defense said it was “disappointed” to lose the competition and would be pursuing a debrief on the source selection decision (Defense Daily, Feb. 10).

“As the incumbent manufacturer and original designer of the JLTV platform, only Oshkosh’s proposal leveraged substantial JLTV experience and proven JLTV production infrastructure, while providing best-in-class upgrades to the JLTV platform,” Oshkosh Defense wrote in its announcement on Monday evening.

The Army owns the JLTV’s data package, and the Program Executive Office Combat Support & Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS) said the competition “focused on a best value determination that includes retaining the capability of the JLTV today, while ensuring that it can be upgraded in the future with the latest technologies.”

Jim Cannon, CEO of AM General, told Defense Daily last week the company is “well into execution” in moving toward JLTV A2 production and is planning to build the platform in “some very non-traditional ways” (Defense Daily, March 2). 

“We’re leaning forward in the saddle. Even when we turned in the proposal, we were beginning to lean forward in the saddle. We wanted to do all the things that we could without significant sunk costs even before the program was awarded, like permitting, planning, design work, all the administrative things that can be done that can slow down actual project execution,” Cannon said in an interview at NDIA’s Tactical Wheeled Vehicles conference in Columbus, Ohio.

JLTVs produced under the new contract will be the new A2 model, which Cannon noted will feature “dozens and dozens of engineering changes.”

 Engineering changes from the current JLTV A1 to the new A2 model include an updated powertrain and alternator, increased fuel efficiency, improved corrosion protection, a simplified electrical architecture featuring a lithium-ion battery, a new base line integration kit to allow for more cargo storage space and design changes to reduce vehicle noise, according to AM General.