Recent program shifts for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) could raise congressional concerns about foreign interest—or the lack of it—in the effort, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
The JLTV is being developed by the U.S. Army andas a successor to the stalwart high-mobility, multi-wheeled vehicle, or Humvee, that has been a staple for the services since 1985.
The Army in August 2012 awarded three firm fixed-price JLTV engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contracts worth a total of about $185 million to AM General,and Oshkosh Corp.
Australia, which has shown interest in the program, “is reportedly ‘not committed’ to participating in the EMD phase, and the new RFP (request for proposals) has no Australia-specific requirements—such as right-hand drive,” CRS says in a report released earlier this month.
“Furthermore, the Australian Ministry of Defense is said to be looking at a domestic variant of the JLTV, although they stated that they would continue to monitor the JLTV program,” CRS says.
At the same time, CRS notes, the Army is reviewing its requirements for JLTVs and other wheeled vehicles.
“Potential issues for Congress include clarification of foreign participation in the JLTV program, given Australia’s apparent non-participation, and how the Army’s upcoming study to revise overall tactical wheeled vehicle requirements might affect the JLTV program,” CRS reports.
The fiscal 2013 budget request for JLTV research, development, test and evaluation is $72.3 million for the Army and $44.5 million for the Marine Corps, for a program total of $116.8 million.
“The House and Senate Armed Services committees as well as the House Appropriations Committee have recommended fully funding the administration’s fiscal 2013 JLTV budget request,” CRS notes. “The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended cutting $5.9 million from the fiscal 2013 budget request due to two-month contract award delay.”