WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has begun a 14-month program for full testing of Joint Light Tactical Vehicle prototypes.
The Army said 22 prototypes from Oshkosh Defense, Lockheed Martin and AM General will take place at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Yuma, Ariz.; and Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
JLTVs, when fielded, will utilize a variety of modular mission-oriented kit systems, including heavy weapons, utility and command and control.
Col. John Cavedo, the Joint Program Office manager, said the JLTV project is on schedule with the Sept. 3 start of the testing program, but cautioned budget considerations brought on by sequestration could cause delays.
"We're doing everything we can to keep the program on track," he said.
"We've managed to hold cost down by promoting better competition between vendors, incentivizing productivity and conducting an analysis of alternatives." he said.
The Army said source-selection evaluation for the tactical vehicles will start in early 2015 and a single vendor will be selected.
A total of 2,000 vehicles will then be produced and tested for three years. Full-scale production will begin in fiscal year 2018.
The Army is slated to receive 49,000 JLTVs and the Marines will receive 5,500.
Production of JLTVs is expected to run into the 2030s.