WASHINGTON — The Army has chosen Oshkosh Defense to build the next-generation variant of its Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, a primary mover for weapons, sensors and communications platforms. The contract is worth $476.2 million, according to a Feb. 7 Pentagon announcement.
Both incumbent Oshkosh — having produced the FMTV A1 variant since 2009 — and AM General submitted bids and the Army entered an evaluation period in May 2017 for its FMTV A2. Both companies touted their offerings at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual convention in October.
Oshkosh has manufactured and sustained more than 150,000 tactical wheeled vehicles for the U.S. Defense Department and its allies and has delivered more than 36,000 FMTV trucks and trailers, according to the company.
“For decades, the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles has formed the backbone of the Army’s local, line haul, and unit resupply missions in combat, combat support, and combat service support units,” according to a Feb. 7 Army statement. “These trucks, consisting of 15 variants sharing a common chassis and components, play an important role as the prime mover for several weapon, sensor, and communication platforms.”
“During recent conflicts, we added more protection to our medium trucks, which added weight, along with high-tech systems that require more power,” Alvin Bing, the Army’s product director for medium tactical vehicles, said in the statement. “That gave the crew the protection they needed and kept them connected to modern battlefield technology, but it also took away from how the vehicles were originally intended to perform. So we launched the A2 effort to restore the performance we had traded, while preparing the fleet to grow with tomorrow’s Army.”
The Army used soldier feedback and time with industry to learn what was important and to “maximize value,” Col. Dan Furber, the Army’s project manager for transportation systems, said in the statement.
Through industry days and demonstrator vehicle evaluations, the Army “made sure everyone had plenty of time to understand today’s truck and what we wanted to change,” Furber said. “As a result, we’re going to give soldiers a great truck with a stronger chassis, better protection, more power, and new safety features that provide them much better ride quality, while making them safer and more effective.”
The Army owns the technical data package for FMTV.
As part of the competition, the Army asked vendors to propose a series engineering change proposals to the FMTV design and for plans on how the vehicles would be produced.
“Oshkosh’s FMTV A2 design features parts commonality that results in streamlined maintenance, training, sustainment and overall cost efficiency for our customer,” Pat Williams, vice president and general manager of Army and Marine Corps Programs at Oshkosh, said in a company statement. “Oshkosh is ideally positioned, given its engineering, manufacturing and FMTV experience, to execute the next generation FMTV A2 program, running along the same warm production line that has been building FMTV’s for the last eight years.”
If all options are exercised during a five-year ordering period plus two additional one year options, Oshkosh could end up producing up to 2,400 vehicles under the contract, according to a Federal Business Opportunities notice.
The estimated date of completion is February 2022, according to the DoD contract notice.
This isn’t the first time Oshkosh and AM General have gone relatively head-to-head in a recent vehicle competition. Oshkosh beat out both AM General and Lockheed Martin in August 2015 to build the Army’s Humvee replacement, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).
The JLTV deal could ultimately be worth $6.7 billion in low-rate initial production but could generate up to $30 billion for Oshkosh over the entire program.
After the loss, AM General focused its efforts worldwide, recently announcing last year it would develop trucks a la carte for customers around the globe.
[AM General to serve up trucks a la carte]
According to the Army, the new FMTVs will begin rolling off the production line in 2020.
Due to an editor’s error, the headline originally misstated the value of the contract over the life of the program. The error has been corrected.
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.