As first reported by Sydney Freedberg over at Breaking Defense, quoting defense analyst James Hasik, the Pentagon's latest test report contains some pretty surprising reliability data on the Humvee-replacement prototypes developed by industry competitors.
Indeed, the figures may very well have been the deciding factor in why the Army selected truck-maker Oshkosh Corp. and not defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin Corp. or Humvee-maker AM General LLC for the $6.7 billion contract last fall to build the first 17,000 production models of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to replace a portion of the Army and Marine Corps Humvee fleet.
The report recently released by the office of the Pentagon's top weapons tester, J. Michael Gilmore, concluded that Oshkosh's vehicle was not only more reliable than the existing up-armored Humvee (UAH), but was also far more reliable than its competitors, as measured by the average number of miles between failures:
Oshkosh JLTVs had improved mission reliability over the UAH and demonstrated 7,051 Mean Miles Between Operational Mission Failure (MMBOMF) versus its operational requirement of 2,400 MMBOMF. The UAH demonstrated 2,968 MMBOMF. -AM General JLTVs had less mission reliability versus the UAH and demonstrated 526 MMBOMF. -Lockheed Martin JLTVs had less mission reliability versus the UAH and demonstrated 1,271 MMBOMF.Put into chart form, this is what those differences look like:
As you can see, these are significant differences -- Oshkosh's JLTV prototype had a reliability level almost three times higher than the requirement for the Army and Marine Corps. In addition, it was more than five times more reliable than Lockheed's and a whopping 13 times more reliable than AM General's. And not only that, Oshkosh's prototype was more than twice as reliable as the existing Humvee.
Perhaps the public release of this information also played a role in Lockheed's decision on Wednesday to withdraw its protest of the Army's awarding the contract to Oshkosh.
The production work could eventually be worth some $30 billion, as the Army and Marine Corps plan to buy a total of nearly 55,000 of the combat vehicles, including 49,100 for the Army and 5,500 for the Corps, to replace about a third of the Humvee fleets.