North Macedonian Defense Ministry Welcomes First Batch of New JLTVs
North Macedonian Defense Ministry Welcomes First Batch of New JLTVs

North Macedonian Defense Ministry Welcomes First Batch of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles

North Macedonia has welcomed the first batch of Oshkosh Defense-built Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) as they were unloaded from a ship at the port of Thessaloniki, Greece. The first six, of a total of 33 vehicles that are expected to be delivered to North Macedonia by the end of the year, were unloaded on July 23. The Minister of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia, Slavjanka Petrovska said last week the first shipment of 6 JLTV light armored vehicles arrived Thessaloniki port, Greece with 180 Textron M1117 armored vehicles that have been donated to Greece by the United States. With the arrival of the first vehicles, Balkan state is joining several other European customers of the JLTVs, including regional neighbors Montenegro and Slovenia.

The U.S. Army announced a JLTV contract modification in November 2020 that identified North Macedonia as a customer. Oshkosh announced in December 2020 that it had been contracted to produce and deliver 59 JLTVs to Brazil, Lithuania, and North Macedonia, but with no breakdown. Oshkosh Defense LLC, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was awarded a $591,605,517 modification to contract for 1,669 Joint Light Tactical Vehicle trucks, 868 JLTV trailers and associated kits and parts. Earlier funding statements allowed for equipping the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia with 33 JLTVs, the first delivery of which were expected in late 2021 or early 2022. North Macedonia’s Long Term Defence Capability Development Plan predicts the acquisition by 2024 of 96 JLTVs.

The first six of 33 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) bought by North Macedonia from Oshkosh Defense are on their way from Thessaloniki port, Greece.

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is a United States military (specifically U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps) and United States Special Operations Command program to partially replace the Humvee fleet with a family of more survivable vehicles having a greater payload. Early studies for the JLTV program were approved in 2006. The JLTV program incorporates lessons learned from the earlier Future Tactical Truck Systems program and other associated efforts. JLTV follows the U.S. Army’s Long Term Armor Strategy with kits for two levels of armor protection. Oshkosh’s L-ATV was selected as the winner of the JLTV program in August 2015 and awarded an initial production contract for up to 16,901 JLTVs. The U.S. Army approved the JLTV for full–rate production in June 2019.

JLTV is transportable by sea, rail, and air. The JLTV is transportable on all classes of ocean-going transport ships with minimal disassembly. It was required to be rail-transportable on U.S. and NATO country railways. Air transportability will be by fixed-wing aircraft as large or larger than the C-130 Hercules and sling-loadable with rotary-wing aircraft such as the CH-47/MH-47 and CH-53. The proposed ambulance variant was to be air-droppable by C-5 and C-17 fixed-wing aircraft. The JLTV has an automatic fire-extinguishing system to protect the crew cabin. Fuel tanks are mounted externally and shielded by the JLTV structure. Each crew seat has a combined seat and blast restraint device.