Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress
(Source: Congressional Research Service; issued June 24, 2019)
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is being developed by the Army and the Marine Corps as a successor to the High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), which has been in service since 1985. On October 28, 2008, awards were made for the JLTV Technology Development (TD) Phase to three industry teams: (1) BAE Systems, (2) the team of Lockheed Martin and General Tactical Vehicle, and (3) AM General and General Dynamics Land Systems.

On January 26, 2012, the Army issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the JLTV’s Engineering Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase. Up to three EMD contracts scheduled for June could have been awarded. The period of performance for EMD contracts was 27 months, and the overall EMD phase was scheduled to last 33 months. Vendors were required to provide 22 JLTV prototypes for testing 12 months after contract award. The target cost for the base vehicle was $250,000, excluding add-on armor and other kits.

On August 22, 2012, the Army announced the award of three firm-fixed price JLTV EMD contracts totaling approximately $185 million. The three companies awarded the EMD contracts were AM General, LLC (South Bend, IN); Lockheed Martin Corporation (Grand Prairie, TX); and Oshkosh Corporation (Oshkosh, WI).

On September 3, 2013, the Army began JLTV testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; Yuma, AZ; and Redstone Arsenal, AL. The Army planned to select a single vendor by 2015, with the first Army brigade being equipped with JLTVs by 2018. FY2015 program plans anticipated a Milestone C (Production and Deployment Phase Approval) decision in the fourth quarter of FY2015, followed by Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

On August 25, 2015, it was announced the Army had awarded Oshkosh a $6.7 billion low rate initial production (LRIP) contract with eight options to procure the initial 16,901 vehicles for the Army and Marines. The JLTV is being produced in Oshkosh, WI.

The British Army is reportedly trying to acquire 2,747 JLTVs through Foreign Military Sales (FMS). The Marines have also reportedly increased their JLTV requirement for a total of 9,091 JLTVs. The Air Force and Navy are also procuring a limited number of JLTVs for use.

A redacted May 2, 2018, DOD Inspector General (IG) report noted the services have not demonstrated effective test results to prepare the JLTV program for full rate production, but the JLTV Program Office has plans to address this concern.

The Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) FY2018 Annual Report notes among other findings that JLTVs are not operationally suitable because of deficiencies in reliability, maintainability, training, manuals, crew situational awareness, and safety.

On March 14, 2019, Army leadership reportedly announced the Army was lowering its overall requirement for JLTVs by 1,900 vehicles in order to free up funding for modernization. On June 20, 2019, the Army authorized JLTV full-rate production.

The FY2020 Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) and Procurement JLTV budget request for all four services is $1.641 billion for 4,090 vehicles. In its FY2020 authorizations and appropriations reports, the defense committees were supportive of some service-requested funding realignments but also made a number of programmatic reductions as well.

Potential issues for Congress include

(1) the possible examination of the DOD Inspector General’s Report and DOT&E’s FY2018 Annual Report findings and full-rate JLTV production;

(2) the potential consequences of the delayed full-rate JLTV production decision, and

(3) the implications of the Army’s new top-line JLTV requirement.


Click here for the full report (19 PDF pages), on the CRS website.

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