Now that the contract dispute involving the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program is over, the U.S. Army is moving forward with buying with production models of the Humvee replacements.
The service has placed a $243 million order for 657 of the vehicles, 2,977 installed kits and related support, according to an announcement from the truck-maker Oshkosh Corp.
"The JLTV program is providing our soldiers and Marines with the world’s most capable light tactical vehicle," Wilson Jones, president and chief executive officer of the company, said in the press release. "The Oshkosh JLTV will be the platform our troops depend on to keep them safe as they perform future military operations outside-the-wire.”
The company, based in the Wisconsin city of the same name, last summer won a $6.7 billion Army contract to begin to produce about 17,000 of the light-duty JLTVs for the Army and Marine Corps beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, which starts Oct. 1.
The services plan to buy nearly 55,000 of the vehicles, including 49,100 for the Army and 5,500 for the Corps, to replace about a third of the Humvee fleets at an overall estimated cost of more than $30 billion, or about $559,000 per vehicle, according to Pentagon budget documents.
The program, however, was stalled after defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin Corp., which along with Humvee-maker AM General LLC also competed for the work, protested the Army's decision in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Lockheed ultimately withdrew its legal challenge -- a move that came just weeks after the Pentagon's internal testing office concluded Oshkosh's design was far more reliable than the other entrants and even the existing Humvee.
The current JLTV production contract calls for Oshkosh to deliver a total of nearly 17,000 vehicles, as well as kits and services over an eight-year period with first vehicle delivery in October, according to the company release. The vehicles, trailers and installed kits for this order will be delivered by first quarter fiscal 2018, it states.