Lockheed Martin will move production of its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to an assembly line at the company’s Camden, Ark., manufacturing complex, where the company expects to gain significant production efficiencies and cost reductions.
The company is one of three vendors vying for a military contract to build 55,000 JLTVs for the Army and Marine Corps starting in 2015. Each of the contractors have provided the Pentagon with 22 prototype vehicles for testing that has already begun.
“Lockheed Martin is implementing a low-risk production plan that will take advantage of the proven, outstanding Camden manufacturing operation and help make our JLTV more affordable for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps,” said Scott Greene, vice president of Ground Vehicles for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, in a press release.
JLTV prototypes were produced at BAE Systems’ Sealy, Texas, manufacturing facility for the program’s Technology Development and Engineering and Manufacturing Development phases. Plans to close the Sealy plant were announced today. BAE Systems will remain a key partner on the Lockheed Martin JLTV team, providing integrated cabs, protection solutions and other vehicle manufacturing expertise.
The Houston Business Journal reported on Tuesday that the move affects 325 jobs in Sealy.
“BAE Systems remains committed to Lockheed Martin and our JLTV program,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of Combat Vehicles for BAE Systems. “Recognizing the budget pressures our customers face, the team is reshaping our efforts to provide the most cost competitive offering with exceptional technical capability and product quality to our end users.”
Lockheed Martin’s Camden complex is among the premiere manufacturing sites in the United States. Camden has a strong reputation for on-schedule delivery of high quality products including High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missiles and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ground vehicles. Over the last decade Camden has won more than 60 awards for quality, safety, security and community service, including the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2012.
Designed as a more capable and survivable replacement for many of the current Army and Marine Corps HMMWV “Humvee” vehicles, the Lockheed Martin JLTV is systems-engineered to return crucial protection, mobility and transportability to soldiers and Marines. Its advantages include greatly improved crew protection and mobility, lower logistical support costs, superior fuel efficiency, exportable power-generation with substantial margin for future growth, and state-of-the-art connectivity with other platforms and systems.
For more than three decades, Lockheed Martin has applied its systems-integration expertise to a wide range of successful ground vehicles for U.S. and allied forces worldwide. The company’s products include the combat-proven MLRS M270-series and HIMARS mobile launchers, Havoc 8×8, Common Vehicle, Light Armored Vehicle-Command and Control, Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and pioneering unmanned platforms such as the Squad Mission Support System (SMSS).