Daily Archives: Dec 18, 2010

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In November 2010 Oshkosh Defense (NYSE:OSK) received another contract worth $780 million for the production of 4,773 family of medium tactical vehicles (FMTV). In December the company was awarded a separate contract worth $513 million to supply 2,050 FMTV medium trucks (plus 1,650 trailers) to the U.S. Army National Guard through 2013.

Oshkosh has recently won new orders for FMTV medium trucks for the U.S. Army and Army National Guard worth over $1.2 billion. Photo: Oshkosh

Since being selected as the supplier for the five-year firm-fixed-price contract, Oshkosh received orders for over 50% of the program’s projected volume of  23,000 trucks, with orders accumulated to more than 16,000 FMTV trucks, trailers and enhanced armor protection ‘B Kits’ at a total value of more than $2 billion. The FMTV is a series of 17 models ranging from 2.5-ton to 10-ton payloads. Vehicles feature a parts commonality of more than 80 percent, resulting in streamlined maintenance, training, sustainment and overall cost efficiency for the U.S. Army.

The Palletized Load System (PLS) A1 vehicle variant features a Long Term Armor Strategy (LTAS)-compliant cab that is common with the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) A4 for improved fleet commonality. Photo: Oshkosh

Under two additional contracts worth about $60 million Oshkosh will also deliver 78 Palletized Load System (PLS) trucks and trailers. The PLS is the backbone of the Army’s distribution and resupply system. Since its introduction in the 1990s, Oshkosh has produced more than 6,000 PLS trucks and more than 14,000 trailers. The most recent variant, Palletized Load System (PLS) A1 vehicle rolled out of Oshkosh assembly line on December 6, 2010. The PLS A1 features a Long Term Armor Strategy (LTAS)-compliant cab that is common with the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) A4 for improved fleet commonality. Other PLS A1 upgrades include a 600-horsepower engine, electrical upgrades and incorporation of an Oshkosh TAK-4 independent front suspension for improved off-road mobility.

The new configuration of Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) A1 offers increased horsepower, higher-capacity front suspension, a larger vehicle cab, electrical upgrades and air conditioning. Photo: Oshkosh

Another vehicle modernized underway at Oshkosh in support of Army transportation is the Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) A1. This configuration includes increased horsepower, higher-capacity front suspension, a larger vehicle cab, electrical upgrades and air conditioning. Since receiving its first contract for the vehicle in 1976, Oshkosh has produced more than 3,000 HETs for the Army.

As part of the field supporting for these vehicles, Oshkosh is already refurbishing heavy transporters under the Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) ‘Theater-Provided Equipment Refurbishment’ (TPER) process. This program, performed by the manufacturer, is returning battle-damaged vehicles to full mission-capablility at the company’s Kuwait facility. Oshkosh has recently been awarded a $11 contract to process additional 140 vehicles through TPER. According to Mike Ivy, vice president and general manager of Army Programs for Oshkosh Defense, refurbishment of vehicles in Kuwait reduces the maintenance cycle time by weeks. To date nearly 1,500 heavy vehicles and trailers were refurbished at the Kuwait facility.

Under the new contract the facility will refurbish the Army’s Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles (FHTV) including the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT), Heavy Equipment Transporters (HET A1) and  Palletized Load System (PLS). Oshkosh also will refurbish M1000 HET Trailers, which were not originally produced by the company.

The vehicles and trailers being refurbished were operating in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The order extends Oshkosh’s TPER work until May 2011 and is valued at more than $11 million.

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Navistar, Oshkosh and General Dynamics Canada have recently received new orders worth almost one billion dollar, for the delivery of additional MRAP variants, in support of U.S. forces operations in Afghanistan. GDLS Canada received orders to supply 691 modernization kits to support RG-31Mk5E vehicles, Oshkosh will deliver 250 new ambulances based on the MRAP All Terrain Vehicle, while was awarded two contracts to supply 425 MaxxPro type MRAP vehicles, including 175 MaxxPro Dash equipped with independent suspension – for All-Terrain Mobility, and 250 Maxxpro based MRAP-Recovery Vehicles.

The U.S. military has recently ordered 250 MRAP based Recovery vehicles. Photo: Navistar

The orders for the MaxxPro vehicles total $377 million. The order for the 175 International MaxxPro Dash vehicles equipped with DXM independent suspension (as seen in the photo above), is worth $125 million and is scheduled for delivery by summer 2011. The company has recently been awarded another order worth $252 million, for 250 MRAP based Recovery vehicles. Since 2007, the company has been contracted to produce more than 8,000 MaxxPro MRAP units.

Navistar has continued to grow its product offerings by leveraging its current commercial capabilities and assets, which includes the proven commercial International WorkStar platform. This business strategy aims to enable rapid response to new opportunities and simplify the integration of vehicle enhancements and the development of new truck variants. According to Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense, the current orders are within the company’s strategy building around a revenue base of $1.5 to $2.0 billion.

The Oshkosh Corp. has been awarded $283 million for the delivery of 46 M-ATVs configured for Special Operations Command requirements and 250 armored all-terrain capable ambulances, based on the company’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV). The all-terrain armored ambulance order is worth $255 million, which covers the completion of four test vehicles and production of 246 additional vehicles. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in spring 2011 and continue through 2012. The tactical ambulance joins the M-ATV base and Special Forces Vehicle (SFV) family of vehicles used by the military. The Oshkosh M-ATV was designed to provide superior off-road mobility for harsh mountainous terrain and unimproved road networks in places like Afghanistan. Oshkosh has received awards to date for nearly 8,400 vehicles. Oshkosh is continuing to explore new potential mission solutions for the M-ATV. New variants currently being proposed include an M-ATV utility vehicle, designed to support resupply operations and the M-ATV Multi-Mission Vehicle (MMV) proposed as a reconnaissance platform, missile-carrier and command vehicle.

The MATV Ambulance configuration was designed to provide superior off-road mobility for harsh mountainous terrain and unimproved road networks in places like Afghanistan. Photo: Oshkosh.

The RG-31Mk5E upgrades focus on survivability enhancements and mobility improvements, bringing existing vehicles to the latest production configuration. Upgrades include the addition of spall liners, an independent suspension axle system and an improved power pack. Delivery of the kits is expected to be completed by November 2011. In total, General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada has delivered over 1,600 RG-31 vehicles under the MRAP program. An additional 566 RG-31s have been delivered to the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) under separate contracts.

The CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that crashed in Qalat, Afghanistan on April 8, 2010 was not hit by enemy fire, an Air Force Investigation has ruled out hostile action or brownout as possible causes of the crash. However, the investigation could not find a definitive cause for the fatal crash, in absence of data from the flight incident recorder (the ‘black box’) that was destroyed in the crash.

A CV-22 like the one seen in the photo above, operating with the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) crashed in Afghanistan in April 2010 killing three crew members and a passenger. A U.S. Air Force investigation ruled enemy fire as a possible cause of the crash. Photo: U.S. Air Force.

The investigation cited several factors that could have contributed to the crash, but none are conclusive to be the only cause. The investigation rejected enemy fire or brownout as a possible causes but mentioned that insufficient in-flight and pre-flight procedures could have added to the cause, as well as poorly executed low-visibility approach with a tailwind, an unanticipated high rate of descent and engine power loss as possible causes. Inadequate weather planning and overall crew’s push to accomplish their first combat mission could also be contributing factors.

Killed in the crash were pilot Maj. Randy Voas, 43, flight engineer Senior Master Sgt. James Lackey, 45, both assigned to Hurlburt Field, Fla., Army Cpl. Michael D. Jankiewicz, 23, of Fort Benning, Ga., and a contractor who has not been identified.

Related pages: CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in Afghanistan

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