Humvee Replacement Delayed Thanks to Legal Skirmish
Oshkosh’s JLTV contract contested by Lockheed Martin, Troops go withoutby Mark McNabb, on
U.S. Military troops must now wait even longer before Oshkosh Defense’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the replacement for the aging Humvee, is ready for service. This comes after Lockheed Martin filed a protest against the Army’s decision to award Oshkosh with the JLTV contract. The protest, which eventually turned into a full lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, pushed final testing and military approval of the Oshkosh JLTV back some four months, subsequently causing the program to miss testing windows with the Army and Marines.
Now the JLTV program will be delayed even further, according to Thomas Dee, the deputy assist secretary of Naval Expeditionary Programs and Logistics Management. “A 90-day delay grew into about six- or an eight-month delay just because of the difficulty of rescheduling a test phase that we were going to do, which then impacts the decision date for the full-rate production decision; which, in turn, puts our funding out of phase for the JLTV program ... which then allowed us to take a look at the time difference between the completion of testing and that whole rate production decision, and it ended up stretching out IOC (Initial Operational Capability) about a year,” Dee said at a Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee hearing.
Dee went on to say the program’s new schedule is sequenced to accommodate testing and logistics development before the JLTV move on for its final testing for the military, called the Multi-Service Operational Testing and Evaluation. This final testing is currently scheduled for February 2018. Only after that will Oshkosh begin to produce the JLTV on to meet its low-rate initial production contract with the U.S. Government to 16,901 vehicles, which will cost the U.S. taxpayers $6.7 billion.
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The foremost problem with this legal foul-up is U.S. troops are forced to wait even longer for the Humvee’s replacement. The Humvee served its time and is well respected, but has become outdated and outmatched with the current and future needs of the U.S. Military. Troops these days are facing ever-growing threats of roadside bombs, IEDs, and a variety heavy firepower.
The JLTV is designed to protect its crew should the vehicle be involved in enemy engagements. Currently troops are using up-armored Humvees that weren’t designed to carry the extra weight of armor. This not only makes them underpowered and slow, but also isn’t nearly as secure as the purpose-built JLTV. For more information, check out Defense News’ full interview with Thomas Dee here. You can also see our full review of the Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicle via the link below.
Source: Defence News