Saturday, July 3, 2010

BAE Systems, Navistar Defense, and ArvinMeritor team delivers Australian Joint Light Tactical Vehicle prototypes

by Courtney E. Howard

BAE Systems, through its U.S. Combat Systems business, along with partners Navistar Defense and ArvinMeritor, delivered three right-hand drive operation-configured Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) prototypes in a ceremony in West Point, Miss. Each of these prototypes will be sent to Australia for durability testing that supports both U.S. and Australia interests.

The BAE Systems – Navistar – ArvinMeritor team handed over a Category A General Purpose vehicle, a Category B Command and Control on the Move and a Category C Utility vehicle. The vehicles are designed to be highly compatible with the U.S. variants, ensuring interoperability between forces, yet tailored specifically to meet the needs of the Australian military.

“Our team has taken a user-centric design approach that provides the foundation for a future family of vehicles that can be modified to meet the needs of our military as well as those of our global allies,” says Ann Hoholick, vice president and general manager of New Vehicles and Amphibious Systems for BAE Systems. “We look forward to continuing to improve and enhance our offerings as we receive feedback from our military customers.”

In January 2009, the U.S. and Australia entered into a Land Force Capability Modernization Project Arrangement for the Technology Demonstrator phase of the JLTV program, enabling tactical vehicle interoperability and integration between U.S. future forces and Australian land forces.

“Australia’s participation in the JLTV program will help reduce overall program risk through the testing and evaluation of additional prototype vehicles,” said Mark McCoy, the U.S. Army’s product manager for JLTV. “As our military prepares for future coalition operations, similarity of tactical vehicle solutions across allies will enhance global interoperability and reduce the maintenance and logistical burden.”

The JLTV prototype vehicles will undergo reliability and blast testing in Australia, as well as tropical environment testing.

“Lessons from recent conflicts highlight the importance of protected mobility in the modern battlefield,” says Australian Army Lt. Col. Robin Petersen, JLTV Cooperative Program Personnel and Australian JLTV Program Manager. “The requirements of the JLTV program closely align with our requirements; we face similar capability gaps and threats.”

BAE Systems is Australia’s largest defense company, employing more than 6,000 people who support customers at 100 locations across Australia. As a global company, BAE Systems draws on the resources and strengths of its people around the world to help deliver the most efficient, value-for-money solutions to the Australian Defence Force.

The team builds off the three companies’ current leadership in armored and tactical vehicle development and support. Combined, the BAE Systems - Navistar – ArvinMeritor team maximizes JLTV program value through proven capabilities, lean manufacturing, and extensive worldwide logistics support.

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