Companies hoping the build production models of the U.S. military's Humvee replacement have submitted their final bids, officials said.
Humvee-maker AM General LLC, truck-maker Oshkosh Corp. and defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin Corp. are competing for the work, one of few major ground vehicle programs included in the Pentagon's fiscal 2016 budget. A contract is expected to be awarded this summer.
"The BRV-O is a combat system designed and built with a total focus on Warfighter needs," AM General Chief Executive Officer Charlie Hall said in statement, referring to the name of the company's offering.
John Urias, president of Oshkosh's defense unit, said the firm's JLTVs have more power, better suspension and faster speeds than today's versions. “Every aspect of the vehicle—inside and out—is optimized for the Warfighter in anticipation of future environments and threats," he said.
Overall, the Army aims to purchase about 49,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, while the Marine Corps plans to acquire about 5,500 of the armored trucks. They're designed to replace about a third of the military's Humvee fleet.
Each of the companies has delivered 22 prototypes to the Army for testing under engineering and manufacturing development contracts signed in 2012. Soldiers and Marines evaluated the trucks at Fort Stewart, Georgia, in several mission scenarios, including off-road handling, towing and pushing cars from the road. The testing wrapped up last fall.
Now, the companies are vying to build 17,000 of the vehicles under a much bigger low-rate initial production contract slated to be issued in July.
The Pentagon has estimated the effort to develop and build the vehicles at almost $23 billion, or about $400,000 per truck, according to a 2013 report from the Congressional Research Service. Leaders have maintained each vehicle will cost about $250,000.
The Defense Department's proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 calls for $457 million in funding for the program, more than double what was appropriated for the current year, to buy 559 of the vehicles and fabrication equipment for live-fire testing, according to budget documents.