Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Oshkosh Truck Corporation
(NYSE: OSK) have teamed to compete for the U.S. military’s
next-generation family of lightweight vehicles. According to
the teaming agreement, if selected, the prime contractor for
the program will be Northrop Grumman's Mission. Oshkosh Truck’s
Defense Group will be responsible for designing, engineering
and manufacturing the vehicle. Other bidders planning to compete
on Joint Light Tactical Vehicle
(JLTV) include the Boeing-Textron
Systems team, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems Mobility &
Protection Systems, General Dynamics and AM General (the GTV
team) and BAE Systems and International Military and Government
Unlike MRAP, the next generation tactical vehicle should provide
superior protection and survivability without sacrificing mobility
and situational awareness. This requirement challenges the vehicle
and armor designers to provide innovative approach to vehicle
development. "Oshkosh Truck has proven its vehicles work
in actual rugged conditions – and not just on a tradeshow
floor. By working together with Northrop Grumman and our partners,
Oshkosh can provide the total package to meet the military's
vehicle needs and ultimately help protect soldiers and Marines,"
said Robert G. Bohn, chairman and chief executive officer of
Oshkosh Truck Corporation.
Unlike other teams, the Oshkosh-Northrop Grumman team does
not have in-house armor expertise. However, Oshkosh gained extensive
armor experience working with a number of armor specialists,
including PVI, Ceradyne, Thales Australia and Israel's Plasan.
Oshkosh is currently teamed with Ceradyne to build the BULL,
to compete on future Mine
Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP II) deliveries. Under a
previous cooperation with Plasan, the companies developed armor
suites for the MTVR
and LVSR all-terrain vehicles, used by the US Marine Corps.
Plasan itself is involved in the development of the B-kit armor
suite for the Combat
Tactical vehicle, a technology demonstrator developed by
the Nevada Automotive Test Center, as part of the U.S. Marine
Corps JLTV technology evaluation program. Plasan is the armor
designer and armor suite subcontractor for International Military
and Government's MaaxPro MRAP vehicle, over 4,400 vehicles are
on order for the US Army.
The U.S. Department of Defense plans to acquire the JLTV for
use by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. As currently envisioned,
the JLTV will be stronger and more survivable than current tactical
vehicles in its class. It also will be more mobile and maneuverable
than the mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle, or MRAP, being
widely deployed in Iraq.
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