The U.S. Army will announce today an initial contract for its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), a program worth 30$ billion, according to officials who preferred to stay anonymous.
The Army is looking to produce until 2040 a number of 55, 000 multipurpose land vehicles both for its use and for the Marine Corps in order to replace the existing Humvee. There are three competitors in the race to win the contract: Lockheed Martin Corp., Oshkosh Corp. and AM General, which manufactures the Humvee models.
A report from March released by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) stated that Humvee entered service in 1985 when “improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other anti-vehicle explosive devices were not a major factor in military planning.”
Previous deadly attacks on Humvees during the Iraq war pushed for efforts to be made to speed delivery of Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected cars (MRAPs). The upcoming JLTV is envisioned as a more mobile and lighter follower of the MRAP, which has some limited off-road capabilities, and it will represent a mix between the mobile Humvee and the protective MRAP.
CRS said that the requirements from the Army for the vehicle to replace the Hummer is for the new car to be able to survive the most destructive improvised bombs, be mechanically dependable and to be maintained with onboard diagnostics, all-terrain mobility, linked into current and future tactical data networks.
According to Army budget documents, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program would double its funding to $457 million by 2016 under Pentagon’s pending budget request, will reach $1.3 billion by 2018 and $1.8 billion in 2020.