Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the number of trailers AM General is to make under a U.S. Army contract. It will produce 9,833.
WASHINGTON — AM General has upset Joint Light Tactical Vehicle-maker Oshkosh Defense in the U.S. Army’s new competition to build more of the vehicles, winning a contract valued at $8.66 billion.
The Army awarded AM General — which lost to Oshkosh in the original 2015 competition to build JLTV — a requirements contract with five base years plus five one-year optional ordering periods to provide 20,682 JLTVs and 9,833 trailers for the joint force as well as foreign customers.
“This competitive follow-on production contract has been part of the JLTV acquisition strategy from the beginning and focused on a best value determination that includes retaining the capability of the JLTV today, while ensuring that it can be upgraded in the future with the latest technologies,” the Army said in a Feb. 9 statement.
“From the start of production, the government procured the data rights to the JLTV Technical Data Package from the original equipment manufacturer, which the program leverages to conduct future production competitions and control the platform’s configuration and vehicle price well into the future,” Brig. Gen. Luke Peterson, the Army’s program executive officer for combat support & combat service support, said.
“These government-held data rights permitted the program to compete this follow-on production contract with much better control of the production configuration and cost,” he continued.
In a statement, Jim Cannon, AM General’s chief executive, said the company is “humbled and honored” to receive the latest deal.
JLTV will be built in a military production facility at AM General’s 96-acre Mishawaka Manufacturing Campus in Indiana. Deliveries are expected to begin 17 months after contract award, according to the company.
In a statement, Oshkosh said it was “disappointed to learn the government’s decision.”
“As the incumbent manufacturer, only Oshkosh’s JLTV proposal leveraged substantial JLTV experience and established infrastructure, while providing best-in-class upgrades to the JLTV platform,” the company added, noting it is pursuing a debriefing from the government.
GM Defense was initially expected to bid as a prime contractor, but opted to become a subcontractor to one of the bidders. The company did not identify that partner.
Navistar told Defense News earlier this month that after reviewing the solicitation, the company “decided to focus its efforts and resources on other DoD tactical wheeled vehicle opportunities” instead.
Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense won the JLTV contract in 2015 to replace some of the aging Humvee fleet, beating out both Humvee-maker AM General and competitor Lockheed Martin.
Oshkosh has built nearly 19,000 JLTVs to date, supplying them to the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy as well as armies in Montenegro, Brazil, Slovenia and Lithuania. The company is under contract to build more than 22,679 vehicles and expect additional orders through November, according to a company spokesperson.
Belgium, North Macedonia and Romania already have plans to buy the vehicles; the U.K., Portugal and Greece have shown interest in buying the system.
The Army’s planned procurement objective is 49,099 trucks total.
The service kicked off its latest JLTV competition in early 2022 and the Army received multiple bids, Peterson told Defense News last fall.
To take advantage of technology advancements since the JLTV was first designed, the Army added several new capabilities, such as corrosion protection, improved fuel efficiency and anti-idle technology, as part of the new competition. The Army also said it planned to include lithium-ion batteries in the base capability of the new JLTV.
“The JLTV A2 design is the first tactical wheeled vehicle with baseline architecture utilizing lithium-ion batteries, which is a key enabler for anti-idle capability,” the Army’s statement said.
While the Army never set a requirement for a hybrid JLTV as part of the new competition, Oshkosh unveiled a version in January 2021.
The Army plans to migrate tactical wheeled vehicles to hybrid and all-electric versions over the next several decades.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.