The Army and Marine Corps Joint Light Tactical Program
Current JLTV status
Supporting strategic guidance
The JLTV is an inspiration from technical challenges experienced by the USA in the Iraq War. Mainly, it is an armoured vehicle that first emerged in 2007 and whose purpose was to improve on the existing vehicles used in the war at the time, the Humvees. The essence of military machine creation was to mute the weaknesses of the Humvees. Hence, it mainly revolved around being unarmored, especially against Improvised Explosive Devices and the challenge posed by their lack of capacity to undergo modification without affecting how effective they would be. A critical aspect to note is that Humvees were created in the mid-1980s at a time when there was little to no use of IEDs in warfare. Thus, the vehicles were not fitted with armour to counter such emerging trends of the 2000s.
Current JLTV status
As at April 2017, the JLTV status had shifted from manufacture to testing of vehicles- a rigorous exercise that involves simulations of military situations, as well as stretching new parameters that advance this vehicle over the known capabilities of Humvees to establish effectiveness. Below are the critical parameters of the test status for JLTV;
Portability- JLTVs have been made lighter than the Humvees, a feature which is being tested using carriers that allow these vehicles to be transported behind enemy lines with ease. The two airlines selected for this purpose and for which testing is underway are the CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter and C-130 fixed-wing aircraft or CH-53.
Sling loading- refers to the practice of loading and offloading cargo using slings tied to helicopters. In this case, the cargo is the JLTV, which are either loaded on trucks, ship or moved to higher altitudes. The parameter is being tested based on the weight features of the vehicles and whether they are light enough to be quickly loaded in emergency scenarios.
MOTE - Refers to Modified Table of Organization and Equipment, which is the process designed to ensure armour, sensors and vital technologies are developed and integrated as required onto the JLTVs. Precisely, it means that the army is currently testing the hardware and software aspects of all devices fitted on the vehicles and whether or not they are a seamless integral part of the vehicle's system in combat.
Armor and Speed - The JLTVs are also undergoing speed tests on different types of terrain simulated to be equivalent to harsh terrains in mountainous areas such as Afghanistan. Armor capacity is currently tested using bullets, bombs, hand-launched missiles, grenades and IEDs. The exercise at this stage is geared towards confirming the survivability of the vehicle in extreme battle conditions.
Supporting strategic guidance
There are pedagogical strategies employed in the creation of JLTVs, for instance, the support strategy to offer assured, sustained, and predetermined light strategic versatility to the Joint army units. Moreover, it is fit for the overall organisation over the full range of military operations and mission profiles under all climate and territorial conditions. The JLTV project is guided to make them transportable over long distances inside any military operations through various ways such as lifting or shipping
Another strategy is to give versatility to surveillance units and direct fire to help in combat manoeuvre, with the significant payload for staff, hardware, and supplies. The JLTV is aimed to bolster order, control, and correspondence in both stationary and progressing modes. Additionally, it is meant to empower interoperability with Joint and coalition forces in decentralised operations over expanded ranges in intricate and dynamic operational conditions.
Summary of the required capabilities
In brief, the JLTVs have more critical capabilities than the Humvees. They include
i. Light metal components that make them very portable and easily sling loaded
ii. The joint capabilities integration and development system (JCIDS), which was guided to have communication technologies, sensors, computers and extra add-on armour protection
iii. Integrated armour; enhanced speeds
iv. Underbody protection such as Mine Resistant
v. The average weight of around 15, 569 pounds and modified wheel flexibilities that allow manoeuvres in difficult terrain.
The acquisition process for the JLTVs was quite long. Below are some highlights;
i. November 2006, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Requirement Oversight Council (JROC) certified the JLTV program.
ii. On December 22, 2007, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics USD (AT&L) ascended an Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) instructing the JLTV Program to be advanced from Concept Refinement Phase to the Technology Development (TD) Phase.
iii. On February 5, 2008, a request for proposal (RFP) for Technology Development Phase was issued.
iv. On October 28, 2008, three awards were made for a total of $166 million to BAE Systems Land and Armaments, Ground Systems Division, Santa Clara, CA, and NAVISTAR Defense, Warrenville, IL;General Tactical Vehicles, Sterling Heights, MIand Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Oswego, NY, BAE Systems, Alcoa Defense, Pittsburgh, PA, and JWF Defense Systems, Johnstown, PA.
v. On August 25, 2015, the Army awarded Oshkosh a $6.7 billion initial production (LRIP) contract to procure the first 16,901 vehicles.
The total number of JLTVs produced and given to the army is tagged at 100, and the increase happens monthly with 10 new vehicles each month as from 2018. The initial fielding shall be remitted to military category organizations to facilitate the feedback process in practice and seek further improvements if need be. The estimated date of delivery starts in 2019, and the deliveries shall be made through to 2040.
The JLTV program is already in its crucial stage of testing and after that, the evaluation shall be undertaken and delivery as from 2019. Evidently, the purpose of creating JLT Vehicles is fulfilled as depicted by the events of the testing phase. The program is potentially going to succeed, giving the USA proper and state-of-the-art armoured vehicles that will be effective in many aspects of war.
Feickert, Andrew, “Joint light tactical vehicle (JLTV): Background and issues for Congress.Congressional Research Service.” Washington Post, 2017.
Keller, Jared “The US Military is jumping at the chance to get the Humvee’s replacement: the JLTV.” Businessinsider.com. June 20, 2017, accessed December 20, 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/us-military-eager-to-get-new-joint-light-tactical-vehicle-2017-6?IR=T
Osborn, Kris “The US Army’s New Joint Light Tactical Vehicle: A Game Changer?” Nationalinterest.org, April 5, 2017, accessed December 20, 2017, http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-armys-new-joint-light-tactical-vehicle-game-changer-20042
Parsons Dan, “Army Cuts Oshkosh $243 Million Check for First JLTV Production Lot,” Defense Daily, March 24, 2016.
 Andrew Feickert, “Joint light tactical vehicle (JLTV): Background and issues for Congress.Congressional Research Service.” Washington Post, 2017
 Kris Osborn, “The US Army’s New Joint Light Tactical Vehicle: A Game Changer?” Nationalinterest.org, April 5, 2017, accessed December 20, 2017, http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-armys-new-joint-light-tactical-vehicle-game-changer-20042
 Jared Keller, “The US Military is jumping at the chance to get the Humvee’s replacement: the JLTV.” Businessinsider.com. June 20, 2017, accessed December 20, 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/us-military-eager-to-get-new-joint-light-tactical-vehicle-2017-6?IR=T
 Dan Parsons, “Army Cuts Oshkosh $243 Million Check for First JLTV Production Lot,” Defense Daily, March 24, 2016