WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT: Marines Studying Replacement Vehicles
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The Marine Corps is finally making progress on developing replacement vehicles for ageing ground vehicles, personnel carriers and amphibious vehicles.
Last month the Army and Marine Corps settled on three defense contractor teams to develop, design and build the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to replace the Humvee (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle), which has been around since 1985.
The Army’s TACOM Life Cycle Management Command awarded a $63.3 million contract to Lockheed Martin Corp., $64.5 million contract to AM General LLC (make of the Humvee), and a $56.4 million contract to Oshkosh Corp. for the second phase of development of the JLTV.
The JLTV is expected to enter production in 2015. The Army intends to purchase at least 20,000 JLTVs. The Marines want to buy about 5,000.
The development program has been dragging on for about six years thanks to changes in Army and Marine Corps requirements plus protests filed by losing bidders in the first round of development contracts in 2008.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps has selected four teams to supply prototypes for the Marines’ long-planned Marine Personnel Carrier.
The Corps awarded $3.5 million contracts in August for a demonstration vehicle to teams headed by Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, General Dynamics and SAIC. The year-long contract seeks a wheeled amphibious vehicle for amphibious performance evaluation and survivability testing.
The Marines are also close to announcing requirements for a new amphibious vehicle to replace the 1970s-era Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs). Called the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV), the planned over water transport has been under study since 2011 when the $30 billion Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program was cancelled because of cost overruns and delays.