The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Command has released the draft request for proposal (RFP) for the for the next phase of the Army/Marine Corps Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program. According to the current schedule, the Army plans to select the preferred teams for the Engineering and manufacturing Development (EMD) phase, by May 2012 with contract award to the winner expected by 2015. The EMD is a full and open competition, meaning the services will be open to consider proposals from manufacturers that have not participated in the TD phase.Three teams participated in the technology development phase, including a team lead by Lockheed Martin, the BAE Systems – Navistar team and the GTV team, including General Dynamics, teamed with AM General, all are expected to compete for the next phase.
The JLTV program began in 2006. Through the technology development phase, the Army and marine Corps have analyzed different alternatives and concluded that the JLTV will offer the best option to fulfill the capability gaps in off-road transportability, protection, payload and performance.
The services have narrowed their requirements into a family of vehicles that consists six models based on two Mission Role Variants (MRVs) – a two seat MRV and a four seat MRV. The family of vehicles will be designed to offer maximum commonality in terms of subsystems, essential line replaceable units (LRU) and maintenance spare parts and logistics. Overall, the services are considering buying 20,750 vehicles, to include three primary configurations: Utility/Shelter Carrier (JLTV-UTL), two seat; Close Combat Weapons Carrier (JLTV-CCWC), four seat; General Purpose (JLTV-GP), four seat. Additional models will also include a Special Purpose (JLTV-SP); Heavy Guns Carrier (JLTV-HGC); and the Command and Control on the Move (JLTV-C2OTM).
For the $52 million EMD Phase each of the teams to be selected will deliver 20 prototype vehicles and armor plates for testing. The vehicles are expected within a year from the contract award. Once the program reaches ‘Milestone C’, by mid 2015, the services are planning to select a single manufacturer for the vehicle in 2015, awarding procurement orders for three consecutive years of low rate initial production orders for a total of 3,950 vehicles, toward a steady production of 280 JLTVs per month by 2018. By that year the Army is expected to have the first operational unit equipped with JLTVs.
The Army has also capped the vehicle’s Average Unit Manufacturing Cost (AUMC) for the base vehicle configurations across the family of vehicles within the range of $230,000-270,000 (FY11 dollars), with additional $65,000 paid for the B-kit Armor.
The RFP signals the services commitment to continue with the new program, Although at a smaller scale than previously planned, despite current budget cuts and funding shifted from JLTV to the HMMWV program it was intended to replace, to fund the HMMWV recapitalization and modernization program.