By Paolo Valpolini
“In November we will deliver the first 20 of the 67 JLTVs ordered by Montenegro,” John Lazar, Regional Vice President of International Programs, Oshkosh Defense, tells EDR On-Line. The Balkan country will therefore become the first export customer to operate the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, already in use in numbers by US military units. The announcement comes a few days after the Wisconsin-based company bagged its last, and for the time being bigger, export order, the Belgium Ministry of Defence having signed the contract for 322 Oshkosh Defense Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV) to be deployed by the Belgian Defence Forces, the selection of the US-made vehicle having been announced in mid-September. “This is our first success on the open market, Oshkosh having answered the Belgian Request for Information issued in 2019, and having been selected against a number of competitors, while all previous contracts were obtained through the Foreign Military Sales scheme,” Lazar explains. The competition was based on the “money for value” principle, the JLTV to be integrated in the CaMo (Capacité Motorisée, motorised capacity) programme, a partnership scheme between the French and Belgian land forces. According to available information 135 JLTVs will be fitted with FN deFNder Light armed remotely controlled weapon station armed with a 7.62 mm Minimi machine gun, while 20 should be configured as CASEVAC vehicles. No initial delivery date was announced.
“Following initial deliveries to Montenegro, the second foreign country to operate the JLTV should be Lithuania, as we plan to deliver an initial batch of 51 vehicles in 2021, out of the 200 on order, an option for further 300 having been filed, which should eventually be delivered from 2024 on,” the VP International Programmes explains. These vehicles are part of the order received by the company from the US Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal in mid-February 2020 for a total of 1,240 JLTVs and associated kits, these being destined to the US Marine Corps, Lithuania and Slovenia. The latter country issued a Letter of Acceptance in October 2018, the need being for 38 vehicles, with deliveries expected in 2021.
The UK case is quite different from the others, albeit it also went through FMS. “The British Army wants mission equipment which is different from that in use by the US Army,” Lazar explains, adding, “we however showed our ability to adapt and integrate equipment different from the standard one.” The UK selected the Oshkosh product as preferred bidder of the Multi Role Vehicle-Protected (MRV-P) Phase 1 and in June 2020 filed a demonstration phase deal. Two standard vehicles are being used for the integration effort, which mostly includes C4I equipment, a live fire dynamic demonstration being planned. “As far as numbers are concerned, these are still under discussion,” John Lazar tells us.
With an MRAP-level protection, and high mobility provided among others by Oshkosh TAK-4i intelligent independent suspension, the JLTV is already in service with US forces. “We have delivered over 8,800 vehicles to the US DoD and we are in full rate production,” Lazar confirms, no figures on the production rate being provided. “We have optimised our manufacturing process and obtained maximum efficiency,” he adds. He also underlines the vehicle flexibility, “we have developed over 100 expansion modules,” and the fact that many potential customers use US-made subsystems already integrated in the vehicle opens up the market, a number of non-European nations having expressed their interest in the JLTV the Oshkosh Defense Regional Vice President of International Programs, Oshkosh Defense concludes.
Photos courtesy Oshkosh Defense