Oshkosh Eyes International Customers for JLTV (UPDATED)
With two major U.S. military programs — the joint light tactical vehicle and the family of medium tactical vehicles — under its belt, Oshkosh Defense is eyeing international opportunities, a company executive said Oct. 8.
“We’re getting a lot of NATO-ally countries that are actually looking at the JLTV as solutions for their vehicles,” said George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs at Oshkosh Defense.
The company already announced a potential foreign military sale with the United Kingdom for 2,747 JLTVs worth more than $1 billion last year, he noted during an interview with National Defense at the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.
Without disclosing which countries Oshkosh is in discussions with, Mansfield said it was around a dozen European nations.
European countries are impressed with how much testing has gone into the JLTV program, he noted. Additionally, they are interested in reaping the benefit of a lower cost system driven by large purchases from the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. Collectively, the services plan to purchase more than 55,000 vehicles. The platforms are not to exceed $250,000 each in fiscal year 2011 dollars.
“If they go with a foreign military sale, they get the same pricing as what the U.S. does,” he said. Because of so many orders “it comes in at a very good price,” he added.
Even if all the countries the company is talking to purchase the JLTV, Oshkosh will be able to meet the demand at its Oshkosh, Wisconsin facility, Mansfield noted.
“We have more than enough capacity,” he said.
Mansfield noted that during the height of the Iraq War when the military rushed mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles into the field to meet the growing improvised explosive device threat that it was producing many more vehicles.
“We actually went from contract award … [to] producing 1,000 trucks a month” in six months, he said. “We’re not anywhere close to that right now on JLTV.”
The company is also eyeing a number of opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. So far, the JLTV has not been sold in those regions, he said.
Oshkosh has so far delivered around 2,400 systems to the U.S. military, Mansfield said.
The company is awaiting notification — which is expected in December — of a full-rate production decision from the Army, he added. Moving to that phase of the program will allow the company to ramp up production significantly, he noted.
Within the United States, Oshkosh is also looking to expand its portfolio, Mansfield said. It is pursuing opportunities with the Air Force to replace its Humvees, and is also looking at selling to Special Operations Command, he said.
It is currently developing new variants of the system that might fill gaps across the U.S. military, he said.
For example, it has developed a lightweight, open-air vehicle kit that can be integrated onto the platform, Mansfield said. “You can take this truck and actually … [use it as a] dune buggy-type solution,” he added.
The company has around 100 kits for the JLTV, he said.
While Oshkosh is currently the only company producing the joint light tactical vehicle, it is possible that the Army could eventually choose another firm to manufacture the vehicle after a recompeted competition in a few years. Mansfield said that could happen in the early 2020s but noted that Oshkosh was not worried.
“We think we’re in a really good place to recompete,” he said. “We’re the incumbent. As we go into full-rate production our efficiencies get so much better.”
Mansfield pointed to the FMTV contract as an example of Oshkosh succeeding during recompetes.
Earlier this year the company was awarded a firm fixed-price contract spanning up to seven years that is worth $476.2 million for its family of medium tactical vehicles, or FMTV A2 variant. Oshkosh was the incumbent having manufactured the previous A1P2 variant earlier this decade. AM General — which was put up for sale recently, according to Reuters — went against Oshkosh during the competition.
In addition to producing new vehicles, the company also recently landed a major vehicle truck maintenance contract. In late September, the Defense Logistics Agency announced it had awarded Oshkosh a $35.3 firm-fixed price indefinite-delivery indefinite quantity contract for 6,000 Humvee parts and associated tire and wheel assembly. The three-year contract will go through fiscal year 2021, according to the company.
Update: This article has been updated to reflect that a foreign military sale with the United Kingdom for JLTVs has not been finalized yet.