The Government Accountability Office gave the M-ATV high reviews in a report released to Congress Nov. 5. The GAO said M-ATV acquisition was successful on a number of fronts, adding that manufacturer Oshkosh Defense “has consistently delivered vehicles well ahead of schedule.” The report said no major issues have been identified and the vehicles appear to be performing well in their operational environments, though its ability to adjust to an evolving enemy was questioned.
Still, this stands as proof that industry and DoD can produce a capable product in relatively short order. After all, the Pentagon – recognizing the urgency – began fielding the M-ATV before it had completed developmental and operational testing. As of late August 2010, 7,488 vehicles had been delivered to the government and 4,379 vehicles had been fielded to units in Afghanistan. The cost to acquire and field 8,104 M-ATVs is now estimated to be $12.5 billion.
The future of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, on the other hand, remains to be seen. The payload category is the Army’s number one priority for development and fielding. But JLTV has its work cut ou. It is expected “to provide MRAP-like protection at HMMWV-like weight.” Now, the heavier JLTV vehicles are at risk of not meeting the transportability requirements, and the vehicle’s reliability requirements are two to three times greater than other tactical vehicles.
The Pentagon plans to acquire 60,383 JLTVs to replace a chunk of the Humvees currently in use.
Check out the Nov. 15 edition of Army Times, on newsstands now, to see the latest M-ATV variants and Lockheed Martin’s JLTV.