WASHINGTON — Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the U.S. Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, on June 20 approved the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program’s transition into full-rate production, the Army Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support announced in a release.
The approval follows an Army decision in December to begin fielding the new platform with the Army’s 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia, in April. The 1-3 ID became the Army’s first unit equipped with JLTVs in April after receiving more than 300 vehicles.
Fieldings to the Ordnance School, Fort Lee, Virginia, the 84th Training Command, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, the Marine Corps’ School of Infantry-West at Camp Pendleton, California, as well as the Marine School of Infantry-East, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, have also been completed.
“Thanks to tremendous teamwork across two services on requirements, resources, program management, testing and other areas, this is a great modernization success story. JLTV shows how teams focused on stable requirements, mature technologies and the right incentives can deliver meaningful capability advancements in a cost-conscious way,” said Jeffrey White, Jette’s principal deputy.
The JLTV family of vehicles is designed to restore payload and performance that were traded from light tactical vehicles to add protection in recent conflict, giving commanders an improved protected mobility solution and the first vehicle purpose-built for modern battlefield networks.
“Getting an improved capability into the hands of Soldiers and Marines has been our team’s driving focus throughout this program,” said Michael Sprang, project manager, Joint Program Office, Joint Light Tactical Vehicles.
“We are also grateful for Soldier feedback on new features and enhancements,” Sprang continued. “The Soldiers of the 1st ABCT, 3rd Infantry Division provided valuable input on enhancements such as increased situational awareness, reduction of system noise, a troop seat kit, and a companion JLTV trailer. Their assessments helped bring us all to a successful Full-Rate Production decision.”
The JLTV program remains on schedule and on budget to replace a significant portion of the Army’s High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle fleet. The JLTV comes in two variants and four mission package configurations: general purpose, close combat weapons carrier, heavy guns carrier and a utility vehicle. The U.S. Navy and Air Force also plan to field JLTVs in much smaller quantities.
“The full-rate production decision is a key milestone for the JLTV program, closing out the low-rate initial production (LRIP) phase, which began in 2015, George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense, said in a June 21 statement. “Important insights from manufacturing and rigorous developmental and operational test during LRIP contributed to shaping the vehicle’s current configuration. The program remains on schedule and on budget and ensures our troops have the protection, connection and extreme off-road mobility they need today for current and future battlefields. The JLTV is the only light tactical vehicle being fielded today that can maneuver within combat formations.”