WASHINGTON — Oshkosh Defense has won a $346 million award to modernize the U.S. Army’s fleet of heavy tactical vehicles, according to a March 30 company statement.
The company will recapitalize Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) and Palletized Load System (PLS) trucks with updated technology and safety features. Under the contract, Oshkosh will also build new PLS trailers.
Upgrading heavy tactical trucks aligns with the service’s need to support operations across multiple domains against near-peer adversaries.
“Whether they’re hauling rocket launchers and missile defense systems, or transporting mission-critical equipment, the HEMTT and the PLS will continue to be an integral part of the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve heavy vehicle fleets for years to come,” said Pat Williams, the company’s vice president and general manager of U.S. Army and Marine Corps programs. “As the military pivots its focus to near-peer adversaries, they can be confident that the [family of heavy tactical vehicles] fleet will continue to serve as a key enabler for combat missions.”
Oshkosh has already recapitalized more than 13,700 HEMTTs and 3,400 PLS for the U.S. military since 1995.
The company supplies tactical vehicles across the services, including heavy, medium and light. Oshkosh has long held lucrative contracts to supply the services and foreign partners with medium tactical vehicles; it had won a contract to provide a new variant of the vehicle but has yet to begin delivering to the Army.
Navistar Defense recently sued the Army over its continued purchase of Oshkosh’s family of tactical vehicles without competition, but the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled in favor of the service and Oshkosh.
Oshkosh also provides the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force. The vehicle reached full operational capability last year after overcoming some design issues. The future is unclear for the Oshkosh-manufactured JLTV as the Army looks to compete for future lots of the vehicle, according to the service’s fiscal 2021 five-year budget plan.
Jen Judson is the land warfare reporter for Defense News. She has covered defense in the Washington area for 10 years. She was previously a reporter at Politico and Inside Defense. She won the National Press Club's best analytical reporting award in 2014 and was named the Defense Media Awards' best young defense journalist in 2018.