Recompete for JLTV Affords Coveted Prize for Automobile Makers
Greater than six years after Oshkosh Protection was awarded a mega contract to construct the Joint Gentle Tactical Automobile for the Military and Marine Corps, and with few new navy automobile packages on the horizon, the Protection Division is poised to reignite a fierce business competitors for the subsequent model of the JLTV.
When Oshkosh received the hotly contested and profitable contract — which was initially value some $6.7 billion — for the primary iteration of the platform in 2015, it despatched shockwaves throughout the navy automobile market. Oshkosh on the time was not the navy automobile juggernaut it’s now, and the end result had main ramifications for Humvee producer AM Common.
The JLTV — which is changing parts of the Military and Marine Corps’ Humvee fleet — was designed to steadiness mobility and safety, in addition to obtain the “iron triangle” of payload, safety and efficiency.
It’s anticipated that Oshkosh Protection, Navistar Protection, AM Common and GM Protection will vie for the subsequent part of this system.
The JLTV joint program workplace — which is procuring platforms for each the Military and Marine Corps — was slated to launch a request for proposals for a follow-up model of the automobile by the tip of January, stated Michael Sprang, program supervisor for the JPO. A contract award is anticipated in September.
The RFP will likely be a fruits of years of labor, Sprang informed Nationwide Protection.
“After we first seemed on the aggressive marketplace for JLTV, what we didn’t wish to do was simply to [use] … lowest-price, technically acceptable” because the metric, he stated. “We engaged with business early and we’ve engaged with them typically.”
In August 2019, the JPO requested business for info because it performed market analysis and eight firms responded, he famous. Based mostly on these responses, the workplace crafted an acquisition technique for the follow-on automobile and allowed business to lease Joint Gentle Tactical Automobiles from Oshkosh.
“When you concentrate on the JLTV, there’s clearly an incumbent however we needed the chance for different firms to have the ability to perceive the JLTV,” he stated. Three firms leased automobiles.
In keeping with George Mansfield, vp and normal supervisor of joint packages at Oshkosh Protection, these firms included GM Protection, Navistar and AM Common.
The JPO has since launched a number of draft requests for proposals and has hosted 5 business days, Sprang stated. The follow-on JLTV is named the A2 model.
“We’ve actually tried to form and be sure that when the federal government identifies its greatest worth, that business understands what we imply by that,” he stated. “After we determine the necessities of the contract, [the military wants to ensure] that business has a very good comprehension of what meaning in order that they’ll create their greatest technique for the way to win the contract.”
The joint program workplace additionally launched the JLTV’s technical knowledge package deal, which it had bought from Oshkosh, he stated.
Because the first business day in February 2020, business has requested the JPO about 400 questions, Sprang stated. That’s “a fairly good quantity in order that we’ve been capable of trip with business, simply in order that they’ve an consciousness they usually’re an energetic participant on this competitors.”
Strong competitors is one of the simplest ways to manage prices and produce new enhancements into this system, he stated.
The joint program workplace is happy with the JLTV’s present capabilities and isn’t in search of huge adjustments because it pursues the A2, Sprang famous. Nonetheless, it’s concerned with some key enhancements.
For instance, the workplace plans to improve the platform’s engine, he stated. The present system is a Banks Energy-modified GM Duramax engine, and the JPO is looking for the next-generation system from the identical provider.
“It’s not an enormous transition from the present engine,” Sprang stated.
The workplace can be incorporating adjustments the person neighborhood has requested. For instance, troopers and Marines have requested for more room be made accessible at the back of the platform.
“We’ve shrunk the house that’s dedicated on each automobile,” he stated. “It nonetheless has the power to develop and broaden if there’s a variety of communication gear that they want on particular JLTVs, however the overwhelming majority may have house again in order that they’ll put their very own … rucksacks or further payloads that they need in there.”
The workplace has additionally recognized some applied sciences that may assist cut back the JLTV’s signature profile. “The alternator, some gearing [and] insulation are key areas to cut back how loud it’s each exterior to the automobile and inside to the automobile,” Sprang stated. “That was one of many considerations that we had from troopers and Marines.”
The federal government has additionally requested business to take a look at applied sciences that aren’t a part of the system’s present configuration, and the joint program workplace would then give them an evaluated credit score throughout supply choice, he stated. These embrace elevated corrosion safety and gas effectivity.
The workplace is pursuing two applied sciences relative to the latter, the primary being for on-the-move operations, Sprang stated. “There are alternative ways of doing this and we’re leaving that as much as business to determine in the event that they wish to suggest that or … how they might implement it.”
The opposite is anti-idle know-how utilizing lithium-ion batteries.
“You have got the power to idle with simply the batteries and so you possibly can run your communication gear, you possibly can run your HVAC system,” Sprang stated. “The system will likely be good sufficient to determine when the battery stage is at a sure level [and] it’s going to activate the engine and it’ll cost the batteries again up. And when you’re nonetheless idling, it’s going to flip off the engine.”
The workplace can be in search of new business driver enhancements that business can provide reminiscent of lane departure warnings, backup alarms and 360-degree situational consciousness.
“Once you get into your automobile as we speak, … there are cameras all around the automobile and you may see across the automobile,” Sprang stated of economic automobiles and vans. “Once you have a look at JLTV, there’s clear armor and there’s opaque armor you could’t see via and that creates some blind spots. And so, a 360-degree situational consciousness [system] offers extra flexibility to see across the automobile, after which additionally to venture out if you’re making turns.”
After the contract is awarded, the winner may have 18 months to ship the primary automobiles and people platforms will undergo a couple of 12 months of testing, he stated. In keeping with slides from a November business day, the projected worth of the contract could possibly be value as much as $6.5 billion.
The primary fielded platforms will likely be prepared round 2025, Sprang stated. Oshkosh’s present contract will proceed to be leveraged till fiscal years 2023 and 2024 after which will likely be ramped down because the A2 comes into the fleet.
“That permits each the Military and the Marine Corps to have automobiles to area whereas we’re ramping up beneath this new contract,” Sprang stated. “It creates this good transition level.”
The JPO is seeking to procure about 15,400 automobiles and seven,600 related trailers, although these numbers might nonetheless fluctuate based mostly upon budgets, he stated.
The workplace expects to see robust curiosity from business for this system.
“Do I believe it’s going to be an efficient competitors or aggressive? I completely do,” he stated. “I don’t essentially choose it by the variety of firms [participating] however by the worth of the businesses and the place they’re going to place the proposals.”
He continued: “Based mostly upon the questions that we’ve gotten, based mostly upon the discussions which have occurred, we perceive the place business could also be, and it may not be the identical variety of firms as we speak because it was perhaps in 2019. However I believe these which can be nonetheless are going to be very aggressive.”
Mark Cancian, a senior advisor on the Heart for Strategic and Worldwide Research, anticipates that this system will likely be very aggressive.
“That is the type of automobile that a variety of firms could make, and if you speak about an Abrams tank, there’s actually only a few that may make a tank like that,” he stated. Nonetheless, a “heavy truck is one thing that a variety of firms might make and because of this I believe there will likely be a variety of curiosity.”
Because the incumbent, Oshkosh Protection is in a very good place, he famous. AM Common additionally has related expertise given its historical past manufacturing the ever present Humvee.
Oshkosh believes it’s nicely positioned to win the follow-on contract, Mansfield stated. “After we received again in 2015, … we all the time knew that we have been going to should recompete after eight years,” he stated.
To arrange, the corporate has been working with its provide base and making its meeting course of as environment friendly as attainable, Mansfield stated.
“We consider we’re in the perfect place,” he stated. “We designed the automobile. We constructed over 14,600 automobiles to this point. … We’ve bought a proficient workforce placing the automobile collectively, and our provide base is second to none.”
In the meantime, GM Protection is constant to judge the way to greatest assist the JLTV program.
“We’re nonetheless actively engaged in a dialogue with the Military on this subject,” an organization spokesperson stated in an announcement. “Given our potential to leverage GM’s business know-how mixed with our core functionality in built-in automobiles, we expect there is a chance for us to supply actual worth to this program and an awesome alternative to boost warfighter functionality. We proceed to evaluate what sort of a job we will play and can talk about that in additional element when the time is suitable.”
Representatives from Navistar Protection and AM Common didn’t reply to requests for interviews.
In the meantime, because the navy shifts its focus to nice energy competitors, each officers and consultants say the JLTV program, which has been utilized in counterinsurgency operations within the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will nonetheless be related.
The platform has utility for a wide range of operational environments, Sprang stated.
“It has progress capabilities. It has the pliability to broaden each in energy, in weight and house,” he stated. “It has that potential for the multi-domain operations that we [will] have sooner or later.”
Cancian additionally sees a future for the automobile. Traditionally, the navy has employed unarmored automobiles in conflicts reminiscent of World Battle II, the Korean Battle and the Vietnam Battle, he famous.
“Armored automobiles have been an exception, reasonably than the rule,” he stated. However extra lately, because of the scourge of roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the navy rapidly pivoted to armoring its platforms and creating methods reminiscent of mine-resistant, ambush-protected automobiles.
The carnage of improvised explosive gadgets and the navy’s response to quickly develop new armored automobiles has “been burned into all people’s expertise,” he stated. There’s a “sensitivity to casualties and automobiles throughout conflicts.”
These considerations will safe the JLTV’s function in future engagements, Cancian stated. Moreover, there’ll nonetheless be a necessity for the platforms in nice energy competitors despite the fact that the menace will come extra from artillery and long-range munitions versus IEDs, he added.
Joint gentle tactical automobiles “might provide you with some safety from Russian artillery. And the Russians are very closely invested in artillery, they all the time have been,” he stated.
As for the Pacific, the automobiles is also helpful in an engagement with North Korea which possesses a sturdy artillery functionality, he added.
Matters: Tactical Wheeled Automobiles