A Wisconsin-based company has been awarded a $803 million contract for thousands more high-performance vehicles troops will use in combat.
The Defense Department on Tuesday awarded Oshkosh Defense LLC a contract for 2,721 more Joint Light Tactical Vehicles. The contract award was issued by the Army, but the tactical vehicles are for all four Defense Department branches.
Work on the new vehicles is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2021, according to a Pentagon contract announcement.
JLTVs are replacing many of the Army and Marine Corps’ aging Cold War-era Humvees. Those vehicles failed to protect troops in Iraq and Afghanistan from improvised explosive devices planted by insurgents.
In a statement about the award, Oshkosh officials said the new JLTV orders will ensure the military will have the vehicle they need to carry out missions that support the National Defense Strategy, which says troops could face off against a near-peer competitor, such as Russia or China.
“As the threats on today’s modern battlefield continue to evolve, our Warfighters need a highly capable light tactical vehicle that is uniquely suited for mission adaptability,” George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense, said. “The JLTV can accommodate over 100 different mission package configurations without sacrificing mobility or transportability.”
This week’s order also includes 30 JLTVs for the country of Montenegro, which according to Oshkosh will be among the first NATO allies to receive the vehicle.
The Army plans to buy about 49,000 of the tactical vehicles. The Marine Corps recently increased its planned JLTV buys from 9,000 to 15,000.
The Army won’t be done fielding all its new vehicles until the 2030s, and the Marine Corps until at least the 2020s.
Marine leaders announced this summer that the JLTV program had reached initial operational capability, which means the vehicles are now ready for combat. The service hit that milestone nearly a year ahead of schedule.
-- Matthew Cox contributed to this report.