Army, Oshkosh Explore New Capabilities for JLTV
The Army and Oshkosh Defense plan to demonstrate new technologies on the joint light tactical vehicle that could expand the system’s capabilities, according to an industry official.
The service earlier this year issued a work directive that involves outfitting the vehicles with four different add-on kits, said George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense.
“We are working hand-in-hand with the Army to develop those kits so that this vehicle will become scalable from anywhere from a very lightweight vehicle all the way to [a more heavily armored] vehicle,” he noted. “We do have some things in the works to scale this vehicle that could be an option for replacing more Humvees in the future.”
The JLTV, which is currently in low-rate initial production, is expected to replace some of the service’s up-armored Humvees. A full-rate production decision is slated for December and fielding is scheduled for January 2019, he said. Oshkosh is producing the JLTV at a rate of seven to eight trucks a day, he added, and has the capacity to almost triple the rate should the Army decide to increase its demand. The service procurement objective is 49,099 trucks, according to budget justification documents.
The vehicle kits may be ready this summer, Mansfield noted. The platforms will be demonstrated at different Army bases as well as Marine Corps Base Quantico.
“There’s work directives to scale our protection levels, both increase protection and decrease protection, depending on what weight and what mission the vehicles are going on,” he said.
One of the kits, which was developed by Oshkosh, provides the vehicle with additional underbody protection, he said. The Army is developing the other three kits, he noted, declining to provide further details.
At the same time, the company is investing its own research-and-development funds into additional capabilities for the vehicle, he noted. It has conducted trade studies to determine the feasibility of an up-armored ambulance. The Army is currently using the Humvee ambulance configuration.