The Belgian federal government has approved the acquisition of 322 new “Commando and Liaison Vehicles”, clearing the way for the country to become the fourth European nation to buy the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) that is being built by US-based Oshkosh Defense.
The contract is worth 135 million euro and will see the company start deliveries of the vehicle in 2023.
Belgium is buying the JLTV to replace its Iveco Lynx armored vehicles under a plan unveiled in 2019. The new CLV will significantly increase occupant protection and equip Defense with vehicles adapted to current and future threats during their deployment, the country’s defense ministry said.
The ministry also revealed that 135 of the JLTV on order would be fitted with FN Herstal 7.62 “DeFNder Light” remote weapon stations. Twenty of the 322 CLVs will be delivered in the ambulance variant.
Oshkosh Defense expanding European footprint
By opting for the Oshkosh Defense-developed tactical vehicle, Belgium has become the fourth European customer of the JLTV that the company is building for all branches of the US military.
Oshkosh previously landed contracts to deliver the vehicles to Montenegro, who was the JLTV launch customer in Europe, and subsequently to Slovenia and Lithuania. Montenegro is buying 67 units, while Slovenia and Lithuania are acquiring 38 and 200 units, respectively.
JLTVs are air-transportable (CH-47 and CH-53 helicopters; C-130, C-5, C-17 and A400 Cargo fixed-wing aircraft) and can be delivered in a multitude of versions ranging from general purpose to heavy guns carrier. The vehicles come with integrated C4ISR capabilities and have a payload of 2,313 kg in the two-door configuration, and 1,587 kg in four-door configuration.
The US Armed Forces are buying the JLTV as a replacement for the Humvee (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) that entered service in the 1980s. The acquisition is led the US Army, in collaboration with the US Marine Corps.