JLTV UPDATE: Field Deliveries Ramp Up

From Armor & Mobility, March/April 2019 Issue

By Dianne Ryder, Defense Logistics Agency

Army modernization is rolling forward, as the first Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) arrive in the field.

In January 2019, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, accepted the first of its anticipated 350 JLTVs from the Joint Program Office, Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JPO JLTV). Soldiers at Fort Stewart have been busy taking part in new equipment training for both operators and maintainers, giving them first-hand experience with the latest in tactical vehicle technology.

“We are very excited to get these trucks into the hands of our Soldiers,” said Col. Mike Adams, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team commander. “It’s an honor to be chosen as the first unit to receive such an improved capability, and I look forward to getting it into our formations.”

The deliveries to Fort Stewart represent a significant modernization success for the Army and Marine Corps, as continues on-schedule and on-budget toward replacing many venerable High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV). In doing so, the JLTV will close an existing capability gap in Army and USMC light tactical wheeled vehicle fleets, while providing improvements in the balance of payload capacity, mobility performance, and protection, along with enhanced maintainability, reliability, and network connectivity.

Beyond Initial Evaluation

The JLTV program entered its Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase in August 2015 with an award to Oshkosh Defense. Since the award, Army and Marine Corps leaders conducted numerous manufacturing assessments, developmental tests, and a Multi-service Operational Test & Evaluation event in 2018 that allowed the services to gain critical feedback from Soldiers and Marines.

Some primary features of the JLTV:

  • Protection similar to the original Mine Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) and substantially greater than the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) but in a lighter and more transportable package than M-ATV
  • M-ATV-like protected payload capacity
  • Connectivity as the first vehicle purpose-built for battlefield networks
  • Improved reliability, fuel efficiency, and maintainability
  • Transportability by CH-47, CH-53, and inside amphibious transports
  • Sustainability designed into the system with integrated driver’s smart display unit and vehicle health management systems

Full Capability Through Partnering

Yet even before production began, the JLTV program set out to improve acquisition processes—and outcomes—with a focus on stable requirements, mature technologies, and maximizing the capability available under an affordability cap. The program actively leveraged consistent industry competition for three different phases. It also worked harnessed the value of teamwork both across the armed services and the many communities involved in science and technology, requirements, resourcing, testing, and program management.

“The JLTV program exemplifies the benefit of strong ties between the warfighter and acquisition communities,” said Dr. Bruce Jette, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology. “With continuous feedback from the user, our program office is able to reach the right balance of technological advancements that will provide vastly improved capability, survivability, networking power, and maneuverability.”

Further Deliveries on Schedule

The ongoing deliveries at Fort Stewart keep the program right on schedule, following a recent Army Systems Acquisition Review Council to move forward with fielding JLTVs to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

More deliveries are slated across each service in 2019. The Army currently anticipates purchasing 49,099 vehicles, and the Marine Corps more than 9,000 spread across two variants and four mission package configurations: General Purpose, Close Combat Weapons Carrier, Heavy Guns Carrier, and Utility vehicle.