Oshkosh Defense will start rolling the first Joint Light Tactical Vehicles off its production line and deliver them to the Army by the end of the month at the dawn of what could amount to a $30 billion contract over the life of the program, the company's JLTV program director said.

And as Oshkosh prepares to deliver the first production vehicles to the Army, the next-generation replacement for US Army and Marine Corps armored HMMWVs has been making cameos this month at major military shows in the US and overseas where the company is touting the many different configurations and flexibility it has to meet a wide variety of missions, according to several company statements.

Oshkosh appeared at the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) conference just over a week ago in Baltimore, Maryland, where the JLTV on display was outfitted with an EOS R-400S-MK2 remote weapon system integrated with Orbital ATK's M230 LF 30 mm lightweight automatic chain gun "to demonstrate the vehicle's ability to support increased lethality including a medium caliber weapon system," according to a company statement.

JLTV was also on display at the Dynamic Vehicle Demonstration in early September in Bedfordshire, England, at Millbrook Proving Grounds.

The UK chose JLTV through a foreign military sale to be the British Army's Multi Role Vehicle Protected (MRV-P) Group 1 vehicle. The MRV-P will come in three different types. The UK military would integrate its own radios, battle management system and counter-improvised explosive devices capability. The UK is still running a competition for other types of the MRV-P.

"The key thing across the board – this light tactical vehicle that has been purpose-built to be flexible, modular etc. – when it comes to equipment, electronics or weapon systems, we are agnostic," Dave Dierson, Oshkosh's JLTV program director told Defense News in a Sept. 12 interview.

"We literally can do hundreds of different configurations with radios, [command, control, communications and computers] C4, equipment, armor, etc.," he said.

JLTV can manage many different capabilities integrated, for one, due to its "very efficient" power train as well as a "powerful" engine," Dierson said, which leaves a lot of room for future upgrades as well.

The Army plans to test specific additional systems or "kits" on JLTV that "span a wide range of government and contractor furnished equipment from fording systems and winches to a range of network technologies and C4ISR systems," Michael Clow, a spokesman for the Army's program executive office of combat support and combat service support, told Defense News in a Sept. 15 statement.

"The principal objective during this period is to ensure effective integration not just with the vehicles and kits themselves, but between fully equipped JLTVs and other elements of the Army's formations," Clow said. "The most important outcome of this testing is to ensure that soldiers can effectively interact with the JLTV and all of its integrated contractor and government furnished systems."

The Army is also looking to use JLTV as an interim solution for its Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (LRV). The idea had been floated as a possibility since late last year, but the Army firmed up the plan to use JLTV in May, announcing it at the National Defense Industrial Association's Tactical-Wheeled Vehicle conference in Reston, Virginia.

At the Association of the US Army's Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, in March, Scott Davis, the Army's program executive officer for CS&CSS, told reporters JLTV serving as the LRV was doable but noted, "We'd have to add the sensor and perhaps a larger weapon" and a sixth seat. JLTV will only carry five. 

"It is too early in the LRV developmental timeline to establish specific LRV milestones and objectives, and we would have to defer to the requirements community on LRV requirements," Clow said when asked about JLTV as LRV. The program office would then figure out a way to carry out those requirements, he added.

For now, the first production vehicles are intended to help reduce future production risk and serve as the first assets for JLTV's performance and operational testing programs, according to Clow. 

During the low-rate initial production phase, the Army anticipates procuring approximately 4,900 vehicles and the majority will be for the Army.

According to Oshkosh's Dierson, the JLTV program will reach a full-rate production decision milestone in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 following a rigorous testing program.