Navistar Expands Military Applications

Navistar Defense LLC continues to expand its defense products by leveraging its expertise to convert commercial vehicles for military applications in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Two contracts totaling $60.4 million were awarded to Navistar Defense today. The contracts were awarded by the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command: one calling for 289 passenger buses and the other for 196 refrigerator trucks.

The buses produced for the first contract, worth $31.6 million, will be based on the IC Bus CE 300 school bus platform and will be powered by MaxxForce DT engines. Work will be conducted at the company’s Conway, Ark., bus plant, with deliveries beginning in late February 2009 to be completed by the end of June 2010.

“The core of Navistar’s strength is the ability to leverage our engineering, manufacturing and sustainment expertise to rapidly provide the U.S. and its allies with a wide portfolio of products,” said Bob Walsh, vice president, Navistar Defense. “We are proud that the military entrusts Navistar to produce a wide portfolio of products to serve the troops.”

The second $28.8 million contract from TACOM for refrigerator trucks will be based on the International WorkStar platform and will run on the MaxxForce family of engines. Deliveries will begin in January 2009 and will be completed by late August 2009.

Also contributing to Navistar’s success in the defense industry is Tuesday’s $35.8 million contract award for engineering changes to mechanical systems for the MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. The contract, granted by the U.S. Marine Corps, is part of the ongoing sustainment of the MaxxPro to improve its capabilities as needed. Work will be performed in West Point, Miss., and is expected to be completed in April 2009.

In addition, the company has begun transitioning its production of MaxxPro MRAP vehicles to the lighter and more mobile MaxxPro Dash, designed for the unique conditions in Afghanistan. Full production of the Dash, which is also built off the company’s commercial severe service platform, is scheduled to begin in mid-October. In early September, Navistar was awarded a $735 million contract to produce 822 units of the MaxxPro Dash.

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