NAVISTAR DEFENSE WINS $752 MILLION CONTRACT FOR LIGHTER, MORE MOBILE MRAP VARIANT
04 Sep 08. The U.S. Marine Corps today awarded Navistar Defense, LLC., a contract worth more than $752m to produce a lighter, smaller and more mobile variant of its International® MaxxPro™ Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) family of vehicles
The MaxxPro Dash maintains the survivability system used on all MaxxPro MRAP variants while also allowing for greater mobility in a smaller, lighter weight vehicle optimized for Afghanistan operations. A smaller turning radius and higher torque to weight ratio are among the improvements to mobility. MaxxPro Dash is also capable of accommodating additional uparmoring. Supportability and maintainability are maximized with a high-degree of commonality of parts among all MaxxPro variants.
“The Dash embodies everything we do: survivability, mobility and adaptability,” said Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense. “The MaxxPro MRAP vehicle platform can rapidly adapt to changing battlefield requirements.”
Production of the MaxxPro™ Dash will begin in October at the company’s West Point, Miss., plant with delivery of 822 units to be completed by February 2009. The vehicle will also be equipped with the MaxxForce™ D engine.
The MaxxPro Dash is the sixth variant in 12 months from Navistar’s MaxxPro MRAP vehicle platform. Since the initial contract in May 2007, Navistar has won more than $3 billion in contracts to produce a total of 5,222 MRAP vehicles. Navistar’s MRAP platform includes the MaxxPro, MaxxPro Plus, MaxxPro ambulance, MaxxPro MEAP, MaxxPro Air Force and MaxxPro Dash.
The MaxxPro Dash will join Navistar’s Medium Tactical Vehicles already in Afghanistan. More than 2,900 vehicles are in service with the Afghanistan National Police, Afghan National Army and the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, and in May 2008 Navistar was awarded a $1.3 billon follow-on contract for more than 7,000 additional units.
Defense News reported that Navistar may not remain the Pentagon’s sole source for the smaller MRAPs. The contract also provides $7m apiece to General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada and Force Protection for five test vehicles.
All vehicles are slated to be delivered by February, according to the contract
announcement. The vehicles will be deployed to Afghanistan, a senior Pentagon
In August, Pentagon officials asked industry to redesign MRAPs to be more
maneuverable and less prone to roll over, the official said.
Most of the 822 vehicles will be MaxxPro Dashes, 4X4s that are 2 tons lighter, 2
feet shorter in height and 8 inches shorter in length than the previous three
MaxxPro variants, which weighed about 17-19 tons.
“We’ve reduced the center of gravity, yet really the survivability has not been
impacted at all. This vehicle can absorb EFP [explosively formed penetrators]
protection and it has also been designed to absorb an anti-RPG kit, like an APS
[active protection system],” Navistar vice president Patrick MacArevey.
He also said the turning radius was smaller and its top speed greater. “The torque-to-weight ratio is very high because the Dash has a similar engine to the one which runs in the 25-ton MaxxPro Plus,” Navistar spokesman Tim Touhy said.
Navistar “engineers did a ride optimization and took the opportunity to upgrade the air conditioning,” MacArevey said.
The Dash carries a 10,000-pound payload, and is designed to be 85 percent common with previous MaxxPros to ease the logistics burden.
The Dash was blast-tested in Israel by Plasan, an Israeli company that makes the armor for the MaxxPros.
Pentagon officials said program officials have tweaked the MRAP since the first requirements went out in fall 2006.
“The program has gone a long way and continuously upgraded things that needed to be done and made light changes in order to adjust to different situations,” a Pentagon spokeswoman said. “We’ve always said that w