Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Oshkosh Truck Corporation (NYSE: OSK) have teamed to compete for the U.S. military’s next-generation family of lightweight vehicles. According to the teaming agreement, if selected, the prime contractor for the program will be Northrop Grumman’s Mission. Oshkosh Truck’s Defense Group will be responsible for designing, engineering and manufacturing the vehicle. Other bidders planning to compete on Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) include the Boeing-Textron Systems team, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems Mobility & Protection Systems, General Dynamics and AM General (the GTV team) and BAE Systems and International Military and Government company.
Unlike MRAP, the next generation tactical vehicle should provide superior protection and survivability without sacrificing mobility and situational awareness. This requirement challenges the vehicle and armor designers to provide innovative approach to vehicle development. “Oshkosh Truck has proven its vehicles work in actual rugged conditions – and not just on a tradeshow floor. By working together with Northrop Grumman and our partners, Oshkosh can provide the total package to meet the military’s vehicle needs and ultimately help protect soldiers and Marines,” said Robert G. Bohn, chairman and chief executive officer of Oshkosh Truck Corporation.
Unlike other teams, the Oshkosh-Northrop Grumman team does not have in-house armor expertise. However, Oshkosh gained extensive armor experience working with a number of armor specialists, including PVI, Ceradyne, Thales Australia and Israel’s Plasan. Oshkosh is currently teamed with Ceradyne to build the BULL, to compete on future Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP II) deliveries. Under a previous cooperation with Plasan, the companies developed armor suites for the MTVR and LVSR all-terrain vehicles, used by the US Marine Corps. Plasan itself is involved in the development of the B-kit armor suite for the Combat Tactical vehicle, a technology demonstrator developed by the Nevada Automotive Test Center, as part of the U.S. Marine Corps JLTV technology evaluation program. Plasan is the armor designer and armor suite subcontractor for International Military and Government’s MaaxPro MRAP vehicle, over 4,400 vehicles are on order for the US Army.
The U.S. Department of Defense plans to acquire the JLTV for use by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. As currently envisioned, the JLTV will be stronger and more survivable than current tactical vehicles in its class. It also will be more mobile and maneuverable than the mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle, or MRAP, being widely deployed in Iraq.