Army JLTV Wins Massive Acquisition Award

A Pentagon statement praised the JLTV program for utilizing competitive prototyping to understand relevant cost structures within a warfighter-defined performance trade space.

Pentagon leaders have awarded a prestigious 2016 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition award to the Army-led Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program for its success in saving DoD an anticipated $7.9 bilion through its implementation of the cost-saving "Better Buying Power" program. 

The JLTV program won the "Should Cost and Innovation Award," highlighting Army program managers' effort to identify more economic efficiencies and deliver high-quality, high-tech innovations for much less money than previously predicted. Such efforts are the thrust of a Pentagon-wide "Should Cost" effort which looks to elminate redundancy, lessen beaurocracy and save DoD billions in taxpayer dollars. 

A Pentagon statement praised the JLTV program for utilizing competitive prototyping to understand relevant cost structures within a warfighter-defined performance trade space. Cost and performance data provided by the competitive prototyping initiative was used to develop an innovative source selection criteria, which enabled industry to make cost-informed design decisions.  Joint Program Office Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Program Manager Col. Shane Fullmer was recognized for this leadership of the program. 

JLTV developers specifically analzyed techhnolgies and costs contained in various prototype vehicles with a mind to making key "trade-off" in requirement designed to deliver maximum performance at a much lower cost than anticipated. 

"This extraordinary recognition brings great honor to the Army and the superb work being done every day to equip our Warfighters.  It also represents our commitment to ensuring best value for the taxpayer," Lt. Gen. Michael Williamson, Military Deputy, Assistant Secretary of the Army, Acquisition, Logistics & Technology, told Scout Warrior. 

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work and his acquisition chief, Frank Kendall, presented the award during a recent cerceremony honoring excellence in acquisition, innovation and cost savings, 

The 2016 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition and the Should Cost and Innovation Awards are extraordinary achievements that recognize the "best and brightest of acquisition" and of the Defense Department, Work told attendees of the Pentagon ceremony.

JLTV Innovations

Williamson explained how the JLTV, for instance, is engineered with additional armor, speed, suspension, blast-protection and ground-clearance in order to withstand enemy fire, mines, IEDs and roadside bombs. These same protection technologies would also enable the vehicle to better withstand longer-range attacks from enemy armies far more capable than those encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

The vehicle is being built to, among other things, replace a large portion of the Army’s Humvee fleet.

The JLTV represents the next-generation of automotive technology in a number of key respects, such as the ability to design a light tactical, mobile vehicle with substantial protective ability to defend against a wide range of enemy attacks. 

The vehicle is designed from the ground up to be mobile and operate with a level of underbody protection equivalent to the original MRAP-ATV (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected -- All Terrain Vehicle) vehicle standards. Also, the vehicle is being designed with modular armor, so that when the armor is not needed we can take it off and bring the weight of the vehicle down to drive down the operating costs, Army officials have explained.

The modular armor approach gives the vehicle an A-kit and B-kit option, allowing the vehicle to integrate heavier armor should the war-threat require that. 

With a curb weight of roughly 14,000 pounds, the JLTV will provide protection comparable to the 25,000-pound M-ATV, thus combining the mobility and transportability of a light vehicle with MRAP-level protection. The vehicle can reach speeds greater than 70-MPH.

The vehicle, made by Oshkosh Defense, is also built with a system called TAK-4i independent suspension designed to increase off-road mobility in rigorous terrain – a scenario quite likely should there be a major war. The JLTV is equipped with next-generation sensors and communications technologies to better enhance Soldiers’ knowledge of a surrounding, fast-moving dynamic combat situation.

 TAK-4i can be described as Variable Ride-Height Suspension, explained as the ability to raise and lower the suspension to meet certain mission requirements such as the need to raise the suspension in high-threat areas and lower the suspension so that the vehicles can be transported by Maritime preposition force ships.

Also, the JLTV will be able to sling-load beneath a CH-53, C-130 or CH-47 under standard conditions. Sling-loading the vehicle beneath a large helicopter would give the Army an ability to conduct what they called Mounted Maneuver – an effort to reposition forces quickly on the battlefield in rough terrain which cannot be traversed another way.

Oshkosh, based in the Wisconsin city of the same name, last summer won a $6.7 billion Army contract to begin to produce about 17,000 of the light-duty JLTVs for the Army and Marine Corps beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, which began Oct. 1.

The services plan to buy nearly 55,000 of the vehicles, including 49,100 for the Army and 5,500 for the Corps, to replace about a third of the Humvee fleets at an overall estimated cost of more than $24 billion, according to Army officials.

When compared with earlier light tactical vehicle models such as the HMMWV, the JLTV is being engineered with a much stronger, 250 to 360 Horsepower engine (Banks 6.6 liter diesel engine) and a 570-amp alternator able to generate up to 10 kilowatts of exportable power. In fact, due to the increase in need for on-board power, the vehicle includes the integration of a suite of C4ISR kits and networking technologies.

The JLTV, which can be armed with weapons such as a grenade launcher or .50-cal machine gun, has a central tire inflation system which is an on-the-fly system that can regulate tire pressure; the system can adjust tire pressure from higher pressures for higher speed conditions on flatter roads to much lower pressures in soft soil such as sand or mud, JLTV engineers explain. 

Also, instead of having a belt-driven alternator, the vehicles are built with an integrated generating system that is sandwiched between the engine and transmission in order to increase efficiency.

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