LONDON — With a sale of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to the British military seemingly in the bag, platform-builder Oshkosh Defense turned up at the DSEI show in London, England, this week sporting a few ideas of what the machine might look like when the British Army gets its hands on it.
Aside from giving the JLTV the obligatory coat of British Army green paint, Oshkosh fitted its show vehicle with an in-service Kongsberg remote weapon station, AmSafe Bridport anti-rocket-propelled grenade armor and a Harris radio.
George Mansfield, the vice president of international programs at Oshkosh Defence, said the configuration was meant to give a glimpse of the sort of items the British could fit based on those already in the inventory. He noted it wasn’t representative of any particular requirement.
The executive said it hadn’t been decided where British-specific work would be undertaken in the U.K., but the company was working to introduce more local content.
Export of the JLTV to the British via U.S. Foreign Military Sales was recently approved by the U.S. State Department, and Mansfield said it soon expects a letter of agreement from the British.
A spokeswomen for the British Ministry of Defence said it anticipates a final decision on the FMS proposal “in early 2018.”
The final go-ahead for the deal may have to await the results of a largely financially driven capability review due for completion by the end of the year by the British government.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement on FMS said approval had been given for up to 2,747 vehicles in a package, together with spares and support, worth just more than $1 billion.
The actual number, at least initially, is more likely to be around 750, according to a parliamentary defense committee report published in April.
A sale to the British would represent the first export success for JLTV.
The JLTV purchase proposal is the first of a two-part British Army program known as Multi-Role Vehicle (Protected), or MRV(P).
Between them, the two types of general-purpose vehicles will help cover command and logistics duties in support of the development of a more capable fighting division and the formation of strike brigades for the British Army by 2025.
General Dynamics, Mercedes-Benz and Thales are competing for the second part of the MRV(P) requirement involving the supply of a troop carrier and a battlefield ambulance.