Belgium’s Ministry of Defence has awarded Oshkosh Defense a contract for 322 Oshkosh JLTV Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV) for the Belgian Defence Forces.
The Belgian CLV (Commando en Liaison Voertuigen, “Command and Liaison Vehicle”) is the proven Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) platform from Oshkosh equipped with Belgian communication systems. The JLTV is currently used by the U.S. military.
“Oshkosh Defense is honored that Belgium has chosen to equip its armed forces with the Oshkosh CLV,” said John Bryant, Executive Vice President, Oshkosh Corporation, and President, Oshkosh Defense. “The Oshkosh CLV offers Belgian soldiers the world’s most advanced light military vehicle, delivering next-generation levels of protection, off-road mobility, speed, transportability, and seamless operational and logistical interoperability with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies”.
“The Belgian Defence opted for a worldwide competition in which “money for value” was the only criterion,” said Director Land Systems Colonel Filip De Varé. “The CLV will be integrated in the CaMo program, an international partnership between the French and Belgian land forces.”
The Belgian procurement marks Oshkosh Defense’s first large of a JLTV-based vehicle under the U.S. government’s direct commercial sale (DCS) program as the vehicle is traditionally procured via U.S. foreign military sales (FMS) program. Belgium joins the United States, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Montenegro in choosing this vehicle.
According to Belgian MoD, the first CLV vehicles are expected to be delivered in 2023.
The CLVs will replace the Belgian Army’s Iveco Lynx Light Multirole Vehicles (LMVs), which were acquired from Italy’s Iveco and have been in service since 2007. The new vehicles will be used for command and liaison missions and will better protect personnel against mines, projectiles and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).
135 of the 322 CLVs will be installed with FN DeFNder Light lightweight remote-controlled weapon stations (RCWS) from Belgian firearms manufacturer FN Herstal and 20 will be used for medical purposes. The FN DeFNder Light can be integrated all FN Herstal machine guns up to 7.62mm caliber (such as FN MINIMI 5.56, FN MINIMI 7.62 and FN MAG) and is capable of extreme elevation and depression angles of operation.
Belgian Defense decided on the purchase of CLV vehicles almost a year ago with a budget of 142 million euros allocated for the program. It sought a Military Of The Shelf (MOTS) product to avoid unnecessary development costs.
Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)
The Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is a light utility/combat multi-role vehicle developed by Oshkosh Defense for the U.S. military under Army-led JLTV program. The vehicle was called L-ATV (Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle) before the selection for the program.
The JLTV family now consists of three base vehicle platforms – Utility (JLTV-UTL), Close Combat Weapons Carrier (JLTV-CCWC) and General Purpose (JLTV-GP)- and four configurations based on specific Mission Packages – M1278 Heavy Guns Carrier (JLTV-GP – HGC), M1279 JLTV-UTL, M1280 JLTV-GP and M1281 JLTV-CCWC.
The U.S. Army approved the JLTV for full–rate production in June 2019 and the vehicle achieved initial operational capability (IOC) with the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) next month. The U.S. Navy and Air Force also plan to field JLTVs in much smaller quantities.