Big contract for Oshkosh Corp.

JLTV file image (Source: Oshkosh Defense)

Oshkosh Defense has been awarded a major military contract, just months after it eliminated 760 jobs.

After years of work, Oshkosh Defense learned late Tuesday afternoon the Army had awarded it the $6.7 billion JLTV contract.

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, or JLTV, is for both the Army and Marine Corp. Industry analysts believe it's the largest military vehicle contract for the foreseeable future.

"It's rewarding," said Eric Wall, an Oshkosh Corp. employee. "It's good to know that all of the team's hard work has paid off."

That hard work started years ago. Oshkosh Defense started JLTV development back in 2005. In 2012, the US government awarded Oshkosh one of three JLTV development contracts. After delivering 22 prototypes and 14 months of competitive testing, Oshkosh beat out Lockheed Martin and AM General for the JLTV contract.

"Well everybody started high fiving and cheering right away," said Jeff Pursnan, an Oshkosh Corp. employee. "It was immediate. It was unbelievable."

"There is so many guys that have poured their hearts and souls into this project," said Wall. "It feels good to know it's coming to Oshkosh."

The JLTV is replacing Humvees, providing more off road mobility and better protection against road side bombs. According to the Army, the initial contract calls for about 17,000 vehicles. The contract has options to be extended. The Army expects to be buying the new vehicles until about 2040.

"It's just going to be a blast for everybody involved," said Prusnan.

"A lot more work to come and we're looking forward to it," said Wall.

The work on this contract is scheduled to start early next year.

We'll hear from Oshkosh Corporation leaders Wednesday at a 10 a.m. news conference. FOX 11 will have coverage on our web site and on tomorrow's FOX 11 News at Five and Nine.

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