Oshkosh Defense from U.S. to supply 322 JLTV CLVs armored vehicles to Belgian army

Jackpot for Oshkosh Defense! According to a Tweet from DGMR (Directorate General Material Resources) of the Belgian army dated Sept.11, 2020, the American manufacturer has won the tender to supply 322 JLTVs 4x4 armored vehicles designated CLV (Command and Liaison Vehicle) for the replacement of IVECO Lynx LMV armored vehicles in service with the Belgian army. 
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Oshkosh Defense JLTV, to be designated CLV (Command and Liaison Vehicle) in the Belgian army (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The Belgian DGMR's Twitter account on Sept.11 announces that the Council of Ministers has given the green light to the Ministry of Defense to buy 322 JLTV CLV Command and Liaison Vehicles, the contract amounting to €134.7 million without taking into account the period of fourteen days in which competitors excluded from this public market can lodge an appeal with the Council of State. These vehicles will be delivered in 2023, three years before the current fleet of IVECO LMVs (Light Multirole Vehicle) Lynx are withdrawn from service. The vehicles will be delivered to the Land and Medical components, which will be able to rely on twenty highly protected CLVs. A second purchase of the same kind would be foreseen at a so far unspecified date. The contract with Oshkosh goes hand in hand with another one, worth € 15.4 million, to provide "technical assistance" and logistical support to the new CLVs during the first four years after their entry. in service, a specialist in the case told the Belga agency. 135 of these CLVs will be equipped with an FN Herstal deFNder Light RWS armed with a 7.62mm machine gun.

The Defense Ministry explained that it had looked for an "off the shelf" purchase (MOTS in jargon) to avoid unnecessary development costs, so the program was looking for a mature vehicle that had already been delivered to partner countries. This means that the vehicle has undergone an in-depth lifetime load analysis in a partner country, the United States.) Payload, tactical mobility and passive occupant protection have been taken into account. , said the Defense.

The CLVs will be integrated with the other vehicles of the "Motorized Capacity" (CaMo) program - i.e. 382 VBMR Griffons and 60 EBRC Jaguar reconnaissance and combat armored vehicles - acquired through a partnership with France.

On November 22, 2019, the Belgian government announced its decision - which has been pending for some time - concerning the replacement of the 437 Light Multipurpose Vehicles IVECO Lynx 4 × 4 currently in service in the armed forces. The Belgian Ministry of Defense launched the procedure for the purchase of 322 Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV) with a multi-year maintenance contract. These CLVs will replace the 437 Lynx currently in service, which will be retired by 2026, when they were built in 2005 and entered service in 2007 (data published on the Belgian Defense website). This exceptionally short life span for vehicles in the Belgian army is explained by cracks in the chassis and then in the roof armor of 120 SPS and RPK vehicles equipped with an RWS and additional armor, a significant extra weight not foreseen by the manufacturer (4.855 kg for the basic Lynx, 6.212 kg for the RPK version and up to 6.383 kg for the RPK and SPS versions).

The strategic vision for the Belgian Defense (2016-2030) is the guiding thread until 2030 in terms of defense policy, associated investments, the evolution of operation, Defense organization as well as personnel management. It translates the government agreement and was developed by defense specialists, supported by the Defense Staff and inspired by ideas developed by Parliament and the academic world. The Defense Strategic Vision was released on June 29, 2016 along with the Introductory Preamble adopted by the Government. In particular, it plans to allocate M€ 125.05 for Lynx operated by the Land Component and M€ 16.24 for vehicles in service within the Air and Medical Components.

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) was developed by the American company Oshkosh Defence to replace the aging fleet of High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV/Humvee) in service with the US Army and Marine Corps. Oshkosh was awarded a $176m contract by the US Army for 409 vehicles, 1,984 installed kits, 82 packaged kits, as well as associated support and services, in January 2017.

The JLTV is equipped with an advanced crew protection system that offers a protection level similar to that of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. The JLTV’s armored capsule is scalable and can accept multiple armor configurations to protect troops from IEDs and today’s other prevalent battlefield threats.

The JLTV is powered by a Duramax V8 turbo-diesel engine coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. It can run at a maximum road speed of 120 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 480 km. It can climb a gradient of 60% and a side slope of 40%. It can cross a vertical step of 0.5m and a trench of 0.5m.

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Maj.Gen. Marc Thys, vice CHOD (Chief Of Defense) of the Belgian army, in an Iveco Lynx LMV before the Belgian National Day military parade 2019 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

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