JLTV Win Advances Crew Protection & Mission Mobility
JLTV Win Means Stronger, Lighter Humvee Replacement Closer to Production
For deployed soldiers, roadside bombs are a top concern whenever they go out on a mission. Their vehicles aren’t only sources of transportation; they are the means of survival.
A team led by Lockheed Martin is making sure protection, payload and performance are all balanced in the affordable Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). The U.S. Army and Marine Corps just selected the team’s design for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase worth $65 million as part of a firm, fixed price contract.
The story—and significance—of JLTV began with the advent of improvised explosive devises (IEDs). Small, cheap and easy to conceal, they were quickly popular among adversaries in Iraq and Afghanistan when tactical operations began there. IEDs caused the military to up-armor many of their High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (better known as Humvees). Also, the Army and Marines purchased thousands of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) to shield occupants. However, with greater protection came some trade-offs, and the heavier Humvees and MRAPs lost their ability to go off-road and be airlifted for quick deployment.
That’s where the Lockheed Martin team’s JLTV can help. Proven in earlier U.S. government tests, the vehicle’s design was improved based on those evaluations. Lockheed Martin and its partners are one of the few teams to get EMD contracts on a platform already driven, blast-tested and helo-lifted by the Army and Marines.
“We’ve had a consistent team since day one, and this win highlights the merits of a stable, proven design,” said Scott Greene, vice president of Ground Vehicles. “Two JLTVs have been produced on an active manufacturing line, so we are already well prepared for rapid production and testing.”
The production-enhanced JLTV maintains the proven force protection, mobility, transportability and reliability of the earlier Technology Demonstration (TD) model, while significantly reducing weight and cost. The team’s JLTV design reflects improvements from more than 160,000 combined testing miles.
Moving Forward in Development, Production
The contract has a 27-month performance period with deliveries of 22 vehicles taking place within 12 to 14 months. Primary variants with companion trailers include the utility carrier and shelter (JLTV-UTL), a two-seat prime mover with an open bed; and the general-purpose vehicle (JLTV-GP), which is a four-seater that will carry troops, ammunition and small supplies.
Lockheed Martin’s JLTV EMD vehicles are more affordable than their predecessors, offering lower-cost materials with higher fuel efficiency and low logistical support costs. The vehicles offer enhanced crew safety based upon government tests that show the design meets the high blast-protection standards, with margin, of many existing mine-resistant vehicles serving in combat today. Additionally, the Lockheed Martin team shaved hundreds of pounds off the TD design, which was already proven in helicopter lift tests.
Formed in 2005, the Lockheed Martin-led JLTV team includes tactical wheeled vehicles expertise at BAE Systems in Sealy, Texas, which is an industry leader in advanced armor solutions and high volume assembly. The team also includes numerous Tier 1 suppliers, including: Cummins Engine, Allison Transmission, Robert Bosch LLC, Meritor Defense, L3 Combat Propulsion Systems and Vehma International of America.