Are There Planning Considerations the DIV Could Assume From Other JLTV Fieldings?
The Army may cut back on its acquisition plans for the joint light tactical vehicle to invest in higher priority modernization efforts, a top service official said March 13. The Army intended to acquire more than 49,000 platforms over the next 20 years at an estimated cost of $28 billion. The systems were slated to replace about half of the Humvee fleet. But those plans could soon change, Undersecretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said at the annual defense programs conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by McAleese & Associates and Credit Suisse. The service is having to make “very hard choices” to free up money for its top six modernization priorities, and the JLTV program might be trimmed, he said.
The prohibited materials were chosen based on their historical use in military systems and the ESOH hazards related to their use. For example cadmium and hexavalent chromium are still found on many military ground systems but were eliminated from commercial vehicles many years ago. Feasible alternatives therefore exist and vendors should work to integrate them into their designs. Some exceptions have been granted where no suitable alternatives are identified to include: cadmium on military electrical connectors, CARC primers and topcoats, lead solder, leadacid batteries, and small percentages of lead in alloys. A formal process is in place if the vendor identifies any other uses of prohibited materials for which they do not have a suitable alternative. Compared with other Army ground system programs, the JLTV has made great strides in the elimination of both cadmium and hexavalent chromium. Based on the efforts over the past 2 years it is anticipated that only a handful of parts containing these materials will remain on the production vehicles. Each will be tracked by part number and identified in the JLTV Demilitarization and Disposal Plan when it is prepared. The remaining hazardous materials identified in the HMMRs include typical materials associated with ground vehicles to include petroleum, oil, lubricants, coolants, paints, primer, adhesives, sealants, and batteries all of which can be easily managed.
The Army’s current modernization strategy is primarily focused on its six modernization priorities which does not include the JLTV. The possibility of the Marine Corps adopting a more expeditionary posture and requiring fewer JLTVs than originally planned suggests original JLTV procurement plans for the two major service customers might no longer be relevant. Despite the Army’s intent to lower costs by competing a follow on contract with another vendor by FY2022, some experts note slowing production rates and extended procurement timelines can act to increase costs. In addition, different versions of the JLTV produced by another vendor could result in additional operations and maintenance costs which can result from a mixed fleet of vehicles (Matthew Cox, 2019). Taken collectively, these issues might merit DOD and policymakers examining the future of JLTV procurement to help determine the current requirement for JLTVs as well as if decisions to extend procurement and re-compete future production will result in increased programmatic costs (CRS Report R41293).
Given these points, to guide the future investment decisions related to JLTV and the M-ATV, as well as other TWVs, the Army and Marine Corps have prepared investment strategies, which enable the services to synchronize their respective TWV programs to maximize the use of limited funding. The Army's most recent strategy was prepared in October 2009 and will be updated later this year. The Marine Corps prepared a TWV strategy in August 2008; an updated strategy is scheduled for release the end of this year. In 2008, the Army and Marine Corps also prepared a joint TWV investment strategy at the request of the Office of Management and Budget. DOD is also committed to preparing a comprehensive and unified strategy and implementation plan for making sound investment decisions for TWVs.
CRS Report R41293, The Nunn-McCurdy Act: Background, Analysis, and Issues for Congress, by Moshe Schwartz and Charles V. O'Connor.
Matthew Cox, “Army to Cut JLTV Buy to Pay for Future Systems,” Militray.com, March 13, 2019