Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle family of vehicles (JLTV) program is in response to an operational need to replace the aging High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) fleet. The USMC in cooperation with Army TACOM and U.S. Special Operations Command set specifications and will acquire prototype vehicles for testing. When announced mid-2007, the targeted timeframe to introduce the JLTV (Initial Operations Capability) was 2012.

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Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle family of vehicles (JLTV) program is in response to an operational need to replace the aging High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) fleet. The USMC in cooperation with Army TACOM and U.S. Special Operations Command set specifications and will acquire prototype vehicles for testing. When announced mid-2007, the targeted timeframe to introduce the JLTV (Initial Operations Capability) was 2012.

The service life and capabilities of the HMMWV have been compromised by the addition of armor and other changes. The increased weight has cause premature failure of the suspension and other components. The JLTV will restore or exceed the original HMMWV mobility and payload capabilities, maintain most of its transportability capabilities, while raising its survivability and protection capabilities and improving its sustainability.

The JLTV concept is based on a Family of Vehicles focused on integrated scalable personnel protection, and regaining vehicle agility and mobility required of the light tactical vehicles fleet while addressing passenger protection. JLTV will also reduce system life cycle cost through commonality of replacement spare and repair parts at the sub-assembly and component level. As a light tactical system, the JLTV will provide defensive measures covering troops while in transport, increase payload capability, maintain configuration management to reduce or improve the logistics footprint, and reduce onerous soldier and Marine workload associated with system operation and field maintenance activities.

Planning for the JLTV program will be influenced by lessons learned during the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles procurement in progress in 2007, particularly with regard to occupant protection. The ongoing success of MRAP may ultimately impact JLTV if its deemed that the two programs overlap.

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Mission Role Variants

The JLTV family will include multiple Mission Role Variants (MRVs), sharing common major components for a high degree of materiel interoperability across the services. Those MRVs include ten configurations and companion trailers (matched in load and mobility) in three payload categories:

  • Category A: 3,500 lbs. (General Purpose Mobility)
  • Category B: 4000/ 4500 lbs. (Infantry Carrier, Reconnaissance, Gun Carrier, Ambulance, others)
  • Category C: 5,100 lbs. (Shelter Carrier, Utility, Prime Mover, Ambulance, others)

Each JLTV variant will have multiple configurations tailored for unique mission tasks. Planned as an evolutionary environmentally friendly acquisition program, improved force protection and fuel efficiency goals have been set.

Future increments are planned to expand both the number of mission tasks JLTV will support, and the capability of each vehicle, achieved through technology insertion goals correlated to technology maturity and readiness levels.

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Program Status

The JLTV Initial Capabilities Document received Joint Requirements Oversight Council approval in late 2006. In early and mid-2007, an RFI was issued for industry response and requirements were refined. Prototype contracts were expected to be awarded by the end of 2007.

After delays, on 29 October 2008 three awards were made on an RFP for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Technology Development Phase for a total of $166 million Government cost. During the 27 month Technology Development phase armor coupons, ballistic hulls, vehicles and trailers will undergo a series of performance and reliability tests to better understand the technical challenges, demonstrate mature technologies, and finalize the JLTV requirements.

The selected vendors were:

  • BAE Systems Land & Armaments, Ground Systems Division, Santa Clara, CA with Navistar Defense, LLC
  • General Tactical Vehicles, Sterling Heights, MI (joint venture between General Dynamics Land Systems and AM General)
  • Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, NY

Protests of these awards were filed, but on 17 February 2009 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied the protests in their entirety.

On 23 August 2012, the Army and Marine Corps selected the Lockheed Martin JLTV, the Oshkosh L-ATV, and the AM General BRV-O as the winners of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the competition. Navistar was not selected although they filed a protest with the GGAO, a protest that was withdrawn on 4 September 2012. The three companies were each awarded a contract to build 22 prototype vehicles in 27 months.

At the end of the first year, on 27 August 2013, the Army and Marine Corps announced that full-scale testing of JLTV prototypes would begin the following week at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, and Yuma Proving Ground, AZ, with the 66 delivered vehicles and a small number ot matching trailers. All three vehicles completed Limited User Testing (LUT) and Production Readiness Reviews (PRRs) by mid-November 2014.

The Army released the final JLTV RFP on 12 December 2014, the basis for AM General, Lockheed Martin, and Oshkosh Defense to submit their final proposals. On 25 August 2015 Oshkosh was selected and awarded a $6.75 billion low rate initial base contract with eight options to procure the first 16,901 vehicles for both the Army and Marine Corps. Protests of the highly significant land vehicles contract were expected to delay finalization of the contract.

Prototype: BAE Systems Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

BAE Systems Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Valanx Prototype, with its trailer.  Photo:  BAE Systems
BAE Systems Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Valanx Prototype, with its trailer. Photo: BAE Systems.

BAE Systems Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Valanx Prototype.  Photo:  BAE Systems
BAE Systems Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Valanx Prototype. Photo: BAE Systems.

BAE Systems Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Valanx Prototype with turret.  Photo:  BAE Systems
BAE Systems Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Valanx Prototype with turret. Photo: BAE Systems.

Prototype: General Tactical Vehicles Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

General Tactical Vehicles Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Prototype.  Photo:  General Tactical Vehicles
General Tactical Vehicles Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Prototype. Photo: General Tactical Vehicles.

General Tactical Vehicles Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Prototype.  Photo:  General Tactical Vehicles
General Tactical Vehicles Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Prototype. Photo: General Tactical Vehicles.

Prototype: Lockheed Martin Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

Lockheed Martin Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Payload Category C Prototype, with S250 shelter, February 2008.  Photo:  Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Payload Category C Prototype, with S250 shelter, February 2008. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Prototype.  Photo:  Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Prototype. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Prototype.  Photo:  Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Prototype. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

Selected Vehicle: Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Photo:  Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). Photo: Oshkosh Defense.

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