The company said in a statement Wednesday the deal would be worth $43.6 million. It is a component of the Army's Long Term Armor Strategy program to give all its tactical vehicles the capability to carry armor protection when required. The casualties inflicted by improvised explosive devices during counterinsurgency operations in Iraq over the past five years have taught that lesson to U.S. military planners.
BAE said it would launch the first production run of the new vehicles and also upgrade the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles LTAS variant.
BAE said its LTAS was developed to be compatible with the FMTV but that its new cab and other aspects of the new vehicle would allow it to be heavier and therefore carry more protection. The "A-Kit" would adapt the FMTV to permit more armor to be installed on it while the "B Kit" provided the new armor, the company said.
The first production run would produce 730 LTAS A-Kit configured vehicles, BAE said. A follow-on modification would be manufactured with a production run of 103 more A-Kit configured vehicles giving 833 A-Kit models in all. BAE said it anticipated a follow-on order for B-Kits before the end of April.
"The LTAS marks a significant advancement to the FMTV arguably making it the most effective, adaptable tactical military vehicle in the world today. We are proud to have worked so effectively with the Program Office to bring this joint development to the Armed Services," said Chris Chambers, vice president of Medium/Heavy Vehicles for BAE Systems.
BAE said that the U.S. Army currently operates more than 45,000 FMTV trucks and trailers. They all have the same engines, transmissions, power trains, tires and cabs.
The new LTAS cargo vehicles will be performed in Sealy, Texas and Cincinnati, Ohio. Deliveries will start in August 2008 and should be finished by November 2008, the company said.