The U.S. Army and Marine Corps plan to rapidly develop and buy a fleet of 7- to 10-ton vehicles intended to fend off increasingly frequent roadside bombs yet be more mobile than MRAPs, a senior Pentagon official said.And what vehicles might the Pentagon order during the interim period?
Army, Marine Corps and Pentagon acquisition officials are eyeing potential candidates, including Oshkosh's Sandcat and Force Protection's 7-ton Cheetah vehicle. Pentagon acquisition chief John Young plans to meet with Army and Marine Corps vehicle programmers, after the military announces the winners of three development contracts for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) early next week.View the Oshkosh Sandcat here.
As for the Force Protection Cheetah, its parent company has been peddling it already as a light MRAP and as the apparent basis for the company's JLTV proposal.
Osborn's story goes on to mention that the JLTV development contracts are expected within a week. If the selection of the interim vehicle has bearing on the award of JLTV contracts, then Force Protection may have gained a slight advantage; enough to burnish its underdog status a bit, anyway. I don't know if that is how the Pentagon intends to play this one.