contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. will move production of a
joint light tactical vehicle (JLTV) to its Camden, Ark.,
manufacturing complex after its program partner announced plans
to close the plant where the prototype vehicles were made.
Prototypes of the
JLTV, an armored fighting vehicle meant to replace the Humvee,
were produced at BAE Systems Plcs manufacturing facility
in Sealy, Texas, for the defense programs technology,
engineering and manufacturing development phases, but the
British company said Oct. 15 that it would close the plant by
the end of June 2014.
"There is a declining
defense market, with not enough work coming into that facility,
plus a lot of competition in the (armored vehicle) market, so
BAE is consolidating its manufacturing resources," a BAE
Systems spokeswoman told AMM.
Sealy facility produced 22 JLTV prototypes with Lockheed
Martin, the spokeswoman said. "Other than that," it has been
"producing turrets and spare parts for vehicles made in the
In taking on JLTV
manufacturing, Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin is
implementing "a low-risk production plan that will ... help
make our JLTV more affordable," Scott Greene, vice president of
ground vehicles, said Oct. 15, because the company "recognizes
the budget pressures our customers face."
The team will continue
to provide "the most cost-competitive offering" without
sacrificing quality or technical capability, said Mark
Signorelli, BAE Systems vice president and general manager of
BAE Systems said it
will remain a key partner on the Lockheed Martin JLTV team,
providing integrated cabs, protection solutions and other
vehicle manufacturing expertise.
The U.S. Department of
Defense also awarded South Bend, Ind.-based AM General LLC a
$64.5-million contract in August 2012 to produce 22 JLTV
prototypes, which were delivered two months ago from its
Mishawaka, Ind., factory.
Oshkosh Corp., another
JLTV bid winner contracted to deliver 22 prototypes, laid off
900 people in its defense division this summer. "(Our) lower
expected vehicle production is due mainly to the reduction in
U.S. Defense budgets and a return to peacetime spending levels
as the U.S. winds down war activities," the Oshkosh, Wis.-based
During a July 30
earnings call, Oshkosh chief executive officer Charles Szews
acknowledged that sequestration also was "having a devastating
impact on the DOD budget," but hoped the JLTV program would
remain funded as "its a high-priority program, relevant
in all battles in all theaters. Thats why we think that
in the budget battles, it will fare well."
specifications for military vehicles like the JLTV are
classified, such vehicles are known to utilize armored steel
plate for structural elements, the roof, underbody and side
panels, closures and fuel tanks. The JLTV can weigh up to