Reforming Defense: Lockheed makes a “jeep”

“Lockheed Martin would like you to know that just because it’s an aerospace titan that moonlights as a shipbuilder, that doesn’t mean it can’t also build a new fleet of ground vehicles for the Army and Marine Corps.”
High stakes in the JLTV competition: By Philip Ewing, DoD Buzz.com

There are companies building the replacement for the HMMWv, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). It’s a new jeep for the military.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Humvee was too light. It was a soft skinned taxi for soldiers and a whip for commanders. There were “up armored” versions, but they are rollover queens. I used to drive a command post variant. After upgrades, our M1113 was 500 lbs away from both axles snapping and was top heavy. The JLTV is designed from the ground up to be an armored anything: taxi, truck, command post, ambulance or gun truck.

Now Lockheed has some issues with building things for the military. There was the scandals over foreign military sales. Yet this same company built the SR-71 and F-117.

Lockheed's new whip

JLTV three variants during the Technology Development phase

Judging from the comments in the DOD Buzz article, some just don’t have faith that Lock-Mart won’t screw the truck up:

tee June 22nd, 2012 at 7:35 pm

With LM’s current recorder as a benchmark if they get it, it will be way over budget and years behind schedule.

And that’s the tamest one.

I for one welcome out of the box thinking. I do have doubts however. Boeing decided to get into the lucrative jetfoil business, the Future Combat Systems and the KC-767 lease. They ended well, in that jetfoils are forgotten, the FCS was canceled and the KC-767 lease sent an Air Force official to prison.

What’s needed is out of the box thinking, but not so out of the box people lose their minds. I hope Lockheed Martin delivers the goods. If they are making junk, they deserve to lose. It’s not the 80′s anymore, political connections, pork barrel politics or lobbying shouldn’t decide who builds what. Make stuff that works.

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2 Responses to “Reforming Defense: Lockheed makes a “jeep””

  1. “Yet this same company built the SR-17 and F-117.” —
    Blackbird number befuddled by LBJ ??

  2. * I should have put SR-71, it was the RS-17. LBJ got it wrong of course.

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