The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow James Hasik on the new prototype Joint Light Tactical Vehicle by Oshkosh Corporation:
The Humvee, like the Jeep that it replaced, wasn’t designed to be a front-line combat vehicle. But through military conflicts it was pressed into that type of duty, said James Hasik with the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security in Washington, D.C.
The JLTV is designed to be a front-line vehicle, if necessary, Hasik said.
When the initial price estimates were about $400,000 per vehicle, the Army balked because it wanted to buy 50,000 trucks, according to Hasik.
“They took a pair of pliers to that” and came back with a more affordable JLTV, he said.
Oshkosh and AM General are proven manufacturers of heavily armored, blast-resistant trucks, giving them an edge in the competition, according to Hasik.
“That’s why, to me, Oshkosh ought to be the favorite here because they’re the ones who have demonstrated the ability to build lots of trucks cost effectively,” he said.
Hasik said he would be surprised if Lockheed-Martin won the contract because, although it’s a huge defense contractor, it’s not a truck manufacturer.
Still, he added, “I think they will take it personally if they don’t win.”