JLTV: Hummer v2.0, or MRAP Lite? EMD Phase Unfolds with Test Vehicles, BAE Mfg Exit
October 15/13: plants. BAE Systems announces that it will close its plant in Sealy, TX by mid-2014. The firm used to manufacture FMTV trucks there until 2010, but lost a 4th phase re-compete to Oshkosh. MRAP orders have also dried up. BAE had already announced a month ago the termination of 140 jobs by the end of the year, but now a total of 325 positions will be lost. The plant, which BAE acquired with Armor Holdings in 2007, was employing about 3,000 people at its peak.
This forces Lockheed Martin to move production elsewhere, which they choose to do at their own plant in Camden, AK. This site was opened in the 1980s and so far has been focused on missile, rocket and artillery (sub)systems such as GMLRS rockets and THAAD ground vehicles. About 480 people currently work there. BAE will continue to contribute integrated cabs and protection components to the team, and some of its engineers at Sealy will probably move to Arkansas, but the two partners will obviously revisit the terms of their agreement.
Looking ahead, the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) RFP is scheduled for Q1 FY2015, with a Milestone C decision following in Q3FY15 and a LRIP award in Q4 of that same year. But this is planning from April 2013, when the services where still instructed to pretty much ignore sequestration. By 2015, GCV and AMPV will compete with JLTV for limited procurement dollars. This plant closure might be a precursor of things to come. The full rate production (FRP) decision set to Q2 FY18 looks very far.
Sources: releases by BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin; Pentagon JLTV FY14 budget request.
In an age of non-linear warfare, where front lines are nebulous at best and non-existent at worst, the concept of unprotected rear echelon vehicles, designed with the idea that they’d never see serious combat, has been one of the biggest casualties. That imperative was driven home on 2 fronts. One front was operational. The other front was, and is, buying trends.
These trends, and their design imperatives, found their way into the USA’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program, which aims to replace many of the US military’s 120,000 or so Humvees. The US military’s goal is a 7-10 ton vehicle that’s lighter than its MRAPs and easier to transport aboard ship, while offering substantially better protection ad durability than existing up-armored Humvees. They’d also like a vehicle that can address front-line issues like power generation, in order to recharge all of the batteries troops require for electronic gadgets like night sights, GPS devices, etc.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. JLTV certainly qualifies, and recent budget planning endorsements have solidified a future that was looking shaky. Now, can the Army’s program deliver?
JLTV: Program & Risks
The JLTV Family of Vehicles
JLTV: Goals and Constraints
JLTV: To Be, or Not to Be?
JLTV: Participants and Platforms
BAE Systems: Valanx (won TDP, lost EMD)
GDLS & AM General’s GTV EAGLE (won TDP, lost EMD)
Lockheed Martin & BAE TVS (TD & EMD Winner)
Phase 2 Engineering & Manufacturing Development: Outside Entries
JLTV: Contracts and Key Events
FY 2008 and Earlier
Related Efforts & News
Appendix A: Phase 1 Technology Development’s Losing Teams
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