The US Marine Corps’ (USMC) Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) has achieved initial operational capability (IOC) nearly a year ahead of schedule.

In a press release, the Marine Corps Systems Command announced that the JLTV is ready to deploy and support missions of the naval expeditionary force-in-readiness around the world.

US Navy Research, Development and Acquisition assistant secretary James Geurts said: “Congratulations to the combined JLTV team for acting with a sense of urgency and reaching IOC early.

“Changing the speed in which we deliver, combined with coming in under cost and meeting all performance requirements, is a fine example of increasing Marine Corps capabilities at the speed of relevance which enables our marines to compete and win on the modern battlefield.”

The JLTV family of vehicles includes general purpose, heavy guns carrier, utility, and close combat weapons carrier variants.

These vehicles are designed to provide protected, sustained, networked mobility.

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Earlier this year, the USMC fielded the first JLTV at the School of Infantry-West at Camp Pendleton.

The Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) FY2018 Annual Report stated that not all JLTVs are operationally suitable because of deficiencies in reliability, maintainability, training, manuals, crew situational awareness, and safety.

The JLTV is set to fully replace the USMC’s ageing high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle fleet.

PEO Land Systems John Garner said: “The warfighting capabilities the JLTV provides our marines far exceed the capabilities offered by its predecessor.”

The USMC will start fielding JLTV to I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) and III MEF by the end of next month.

Oshkosh Defense is the major contractor for the programme.