Lockheed completes two of seven tactical vehicle prototypes, aims for Humvee replacement.

Steve Ramsey, vice president of ground vehicles for the company,…

Steve Ramsey, vice president of ground vehicles for the company, called the accomplishment a “major achievement” for Lockheed’s program. The two vehicles are both six-passenger infantry carrier models.

In August, a Lockheed infantry carrier prototype rolled over during a test drive with TV journalists. Excessive speed seemed to be the cause of the accident, the company has said.

As part of an analysis, the vehicle was disassembled with various parts being further evaluated and tested for the review board, Lockheed spokesman Jeff Brown said. Many of the parts were then placed on existing JLTV prototype vehicles, which are currently in system test. Lockheed has now closed its investigation into the matter, determining that there were no indications of a vehicle malfunction.

“We have continuously used input from users to adapt our vehicles in areas such as ergonomics, maintenance and supportability,” Brown said. “Our vehicles meet or exceed government safety requirements. Nonetheless, the incident was a reminder that even the best-designed vehicles can tip over when operated in a way inappropriate to conditions.”

The JLTV is aimed at replacing the Humvee.

As part of the 27-month technology development contract awarded in October 2008, Lockheed will deliver multiple JLTV variants and trailers to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps for testing, which is scheduled to start in April and be conducted mostly at test centers in Maryland and Arizona.

From start to finish, the JLTV program’s value could reach $75 billion and mean the production of at least 60,000 vehicles for the military’s use worldwide, according to this newspaper’s archives. Full production and fielding is expected to start in 2015.

Source: My-Ly Nguyen for The Ithaca Journal

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