Oshkosh Defense recently delivered the last of the 750 M-ATVs sold to UAE. (Oshkosh Defense)
Sep. 24, 2013 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense news
Company Says It's Working on Saudi Deal
QUANTICO, VA. — Oshkosh Defense finished shipping the last of the 750 MRAP-All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV) sold to the United Arab Emirates, and is working on a deal with Saudi Arabia for an undisclosed number of the lighter MRAPs, company officials here said.
John Bryant, senior vice president of defense programs for the company, said that Oshkosh is working on a long-term maintenance and supply agreement with the UAE to keep those M-ATVs humming. The UAE deal was announced in July 2012, and deliveries were completed this past August.
Since the potential Saudi deal is still in its early stages, Bryant said he could not provide any additional details, though he does expect announcements to be made by the end of the year.
Since the program came on line in 2009, the US Army, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Command purchased about 8,700 M-ATVs for use in Afghanistan, but as part of the overall divesture of its wartime MRAP fleet, the government will keep about 5,600 of them, with the Special Ops Command retaining about 250 vehicles.
Bryant said that the US government is planning on re-fitting almost all of the vehicles that come back from Afghanistan at its own government depots, but that Oshkosh’s supplier base should still see plenty of work funneling parts and technical expertise to the depots to finish up the work.
He also said that the company’s supplier base should stay pretty healthy over the next several years given the amount of work they have servicing Oshkosh’s heavy and medium vehicle fleets, as well.
“We don’t see any drying up of our supply base,” he said.
The company is also working on a series of safety, survivability, and mobility upgrades for the vehicles as they come home, including suspension upgrades and a new communications suite for international customers that would allow them to integrate more — and different — radios onto the platforms.
As one of the three finalists for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program, Bryant is concerned about the fact that the program’s managers say that they’ll run out of money to continue testing by next summer, unless they receive an infusion of cash.
Still, he said, the company is continuing to perform its own testing on the JLTV, and is eager to share that information with the government if they need it.