Wednesday, August 19, 2015

JLTV decision soon. But what unit is it for?

Defense contractors competing for a contract to build the U.S. military’s replacement to the iconic Humvee are eagerly awaiting a decision from the Army.
Humvee-maker AM General, truck-maker Oshkosh Corp. and defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin Corp. are vying to begin production of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV.
An announcement on which company will be chosen to build the first 17,000 production models of the vehicle is expected either this week or next, sources told Military​.com.
Overall, the Army and the Marine Corps plan to buy a total of 54,720 JLTVs to replace about a third of the Humvee fleet at an estimated cost of more than $30 billion, or about $559,000 per vehicle, according to Pentagon budget documents.
So let me get this straight.

The 82nd, USMC and SOCOM are all developing ultra-light combat vehicles or using off the shelf ATVs.  Additionally its becoming obvious that the Army needs either (A) develop a replacement for the Bradley, (B) seriously upgrade the Stryker (C) upgrade the Bradley along with the Stryker (D) do A, B, and C or (E) buy JLTVs.

The USMC needs to (A) get on with the selection of the ACV (B) scrap the survivability upgrades and do a soup to nuts upgrade of the AAV (C) do both A and B or (D) buy the JLTV.

Lets take a step back and ignore doctrine and just look at the JLTV buy in a vacuum.  To which units will it go?  What will happen to the Humvees that are still in service and will undoubtedly be fired on?  Does it make sense to have two separate supply lines for two separate utility vehicles performing presumably the same functions?

The JLTV buy just doesn't make sense.

Lets call this what it is.  This is a bone being tossed to the ground forces to get us to shut up about the TREMENDOUS cost of the F-35 and how ground combat units are being shredded to pay for it (along with the Soldiers and Marines that man those units).

This program should have been canned long ago.  A more sensible solution would be to get the Textron would be cheaper and just as effective...while simplifying the supply chain, not further complicating it.

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