Oshkosh wins $6.7 billion US Army contract

The Oshkosh JLTV, winner of the US Army design competition. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
The Oshkosh JLTV, winner of the US Army design competition. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Military vehicle manufacturer Oshkosh Defence has today won a $6.7bn contract with the US Army to produce the next generation of light land vehicles.

The company’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) was chosen to be the vehicle that would replace the role of the HMMWV in the US Army and Marine Corps into the future.

To win this highly lucrative contract, Oshkosh’s JLTV had to defeat other massive players in the US defense industry including Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.

“Following a rigorous, disciplined JLTV competition, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps are giving our nation’s Warfighters the world’s most capable light vehicle – the Oshkosh JLTV,” said Charles L. Szews, Oshkosh Corporation chief executive officer.

“Oshkosh is honored to be selected for the JLTV production contract, which builds upon our 90-year history of producing tactical wheeled vehicles for U.S. military operations at home and abroad.

The JLTV itself is a lightly armored infantry mobility platform that will come in a number of different configurations depending on mission type.

According to Oshkosh, the vehicle incorporates a number of technologies which are designed to improve the crew’s survivability. These include a specially-hardened crew ‘capsule’, automated fire-extinguishing capabilities and energy-absorbing seats.

In combat the JLTV is armed with a remotely-operated gun turret, and tubes for anti-tank guided missiles.

Additionally, Oshkosh has designed the JLTV to be significantly faster than previous vehicles operated by the US Army.

“Our JLTV has been extensively tested and is proven to provide the ballistic protection of a light tank, the underbody protection of an MRAP-class vehicle, and the off-road mobility of a Baja racer. The Oshkosh JLTV allows troops to travel over rugged terrain at speeds 70% faster than today’s gold standard,” said John M. Urias, president of Oshkosh Defense.

Over the course of the contract, Oshkosh plans to build close to 17,000 of the new vehicles, starting with a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) period before ramping up to Full Rate Production (FRP).

The vehicles themselves will be built over an 8 year period entailing 3 years of LRIP followed by 5 years of FRP.

Currently the US Army has provided no official information on why Oshkosh was awarded this contract over its competitors.