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Follow On MRAP-ATV Contract Awarded To Oshkosh

At the end of June Oshkosh won the initial MRAP-ATV contract from the U.S. Department of Defense. This one billion dollar contract was for over two thousand of the lighter and more maneuverable Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles for use in Afghanistan. The DoD conducted a contest between a variety of companies that included a “drive off” to demonstrate capability. While it was thought that more then one company would win contracts only Oshkosh received an order.

Now it was announced today that Oshkosh won a follow on order for another seventeen hundred vehicles for another billion dollars. The company already had to invest in expanding its workforce and capability to meet the first one. Part of any contract award by the Defense Department is based on the winner’s demonstration that they are able to meet the production and quantity requirements so Oshkosh should be able to build these. The follow on award though will deal a further blow to Navistar, BAE Systems and Force Protection efforts in the MRAP business.

The U.S. had rapidly purchased a variety of different MRAP vehicles for about four years to provide protection for troops as they moved around Iraq. There is an on-going struggle how to fit these vehicles into their tactical formations now that those operations are winding down. The MRAP are big, road optimized vehicles and are not designed for use in rough terrain or combat. This is part of the reason that the Future Combat System (FCS) vehicle portion was canceled. There may soon be an end to the purchase of any large numbers of MRAP as future more tactical combat vehicles are purchased.

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