June 19, 2013 -- By Bill Johnson-Miles, MCSC Corporate Communications
Senior Marine Corps, Army and Department of Defense leadership got a hands-on look at the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle during a demonstration on Marine Corps Base Quantico June 3-14. JLTV prototypes from three vendors were on display and road tested at the Transportation Demonstration Support Area, a nearly 400-acre site managed by the Marine Corps Program Executive Officer Land Systems.
“The site allowed both senior military leadership and congressional members and staff to engage the competing JLTV prime vendors over static displays,” said Lt. Col. Michael Burks, JLTV military deputy. “They also rode in the prototype vehicles themselves and experienced some of the capabilities JLTV will field to the joint warfighter."
The JLTV program, a joint effort by the Army and Marine Corps, addresses gaps in the services’ light tactical vehicle fleets. The Marine Corps portion of the program is managed by PEO LS and supported by Marine Corps Systems Command.
“We cannot do this without the Marine Corps,” said Army Col. John Cavedo, JLTV joint project manager. “It is definitely a joint effort.”
According to the joint program office, the requirement for new vehicles came about because recent combat experiences drove a need to substantially increase vehicle protection, thus creating an imbalance in tactical vehicle payload, performance and protection.
Officials said the JLTV program is designed to restore that balance. It also meets the unique requirements of both services while fielding the first vehicle purpose-built to host emerging network capabilities.
“The light tactical vehicle capability gap will be closed with the JLTV,” Cavedo said.
Closing that gap began in August 2012 when the three vendors, AM General, Lockheed-Martin and Oshkosh Defense, received engineering and manufacturing development contracts. The vendors are on track to deliver a total of 66 vehicles to undergo a government test phase commencing this August.
“There is fierce competition with these three vendors,” Cavedo said. “The JLTV prototype vehicles here at TDSA are part of the 22 vehicles each vendor will deliver in late August 2013, when they all will undergo 14 months of intensive testing.”
"We need a light tactical vehicle, employable in a forward-deployed expeditionary environment, which can also take a serious hit like a MRAP and bring our warfighters back alive, mission accomplished,” Burks said. “That's the JLTV, where it successfully targets—and overcomes—the critical gap in light tactical vehicle capabilities."