Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), and the U.S. military have reached a significant milestone in the ongoing battle against improvised explosive devices (IED) in Afghanistan, having recently completed the in-theater installation of the 3,500th Oshkosh MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) Underbody Improvement Kit (UIK) in less than seven months to give Warfighters new levels of protection against the threats.
In response to larger IEDs, Oshkosh worked closely with the MRAP Joint Program Office (JPO) to design and deliver the first M-ATV UIK in less than 30 days. The kits increase the M-ATV’s protection level beyond the initial requirements and are part of Oshkosh’s comprehensive strategy to help keep Warfighters safer on the battlefield without limiting mission-critical off-road mobility.
“Oshkosh Defense uses a modular approach to vehicle design, allowing the M-ATV and several other fielded platforms to accept a wide range of upgrades in-theater as threats evolve,” said John Bryant, vice president and general manager of Joint and Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “We design UIKs and test them thoroughly to meet the government’s stringent survivability requirements. Our Field Service Representatives then go wherever needed, including in-theater, to install the kits in rapid fashion.”
In addition to the M-ATV, Oshkosh produces UIKs to enhance protection for other vehicle platforms. The U.S. Army to date has ordered more than 400 UIKs, also known as C-Kit armor, for the Oshkosh Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) A4.
Oshkosh is also developing and conducting independent testing of UIK enhancements for its wide range of light, medium and heavy tactical wheeled vehicle platforms, including the Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV).
Urgent In-Theater Installation
The MRAP JPO established 10 UIK installation sites in Afghanistan, while Oshkosh designed the lean process flow and specified, procured, packaged and delivered the tooling required to support the installations. Working together, the MRAP JPO’s universal workforce and Oshkosh installed the first 3,500 UIKs in less than seven months. Oshkosh to date has received orders for more than 8,000 M-ATV UIKs and continues to install the kits in-theater.
The Oshkosh UIKs take advantage of the M-ATV’s flexible design and industry-leading suspension system to accept additional armor. Similar to the M-ATV’s bolt-on armor, UIKs can be installed in-theater without the need for welding or major fabrication.
U.S. military technicians in Afghanistan have also installed 400 UIKs for a total of more than 3,900 M-ATVs with greater protection levels in-theater to date. Additionally, Oshkosh delivered more than 500 new M-ATVs with factory-installed UIKs.
Source: Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK)
Date: Feb 23, 2012