Several industry sources have told Defense News that they expect the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to select up to three bidders Aug. 24 for the next phase of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) competition.
Just last month, Col. David Bassett, project manager for U.S. Army Tactical Vehicles, said that up to three 27-month contracts will be awarded “later this summer” for the JLTV’s Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase, which would require each bidder to build 22 trucks.
The possibility of the program finally moving to its next stage has industry on the edge of its seat because the quantities of trucks at play are huge: The Army says that it plans to purchase 50,000 vehicles, while the Marine Corps is looking to buy 5,000.
The EMD downselect was planned for the summer of 2011, only to be bumped back to winter 2012, at which time the Army said it would come early summer. This latest date has been on the books for some time, but as has happened in the past, it is hardly set in stone.
Until the competition for the EMD phase kicked off March 28, there were three industry teams in the mix, all of which had won technology development contracts in October 2008. Teams included BAE Systems and Navistar; General Tactical Vehicles (General Dynamics and AM General); and Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems.
But on March 28, Navistar broke away from the BAE team to offer the Saratoga Light Tactical Vehicle, and AM General and Oshkosh both announced they were submitting independent bids. AM General said that even though it was striking out on its own, it would continue to work with General Dynamics on their joint project.