Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has awarded Oshkosh Defense a $476.2-million-dollar seven-year contract to build the latest Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles for it.
Oshkosh, headquartered in Wisconsin, expects to complete the A2 variant vehicles by Feb. 7, 2022, the U.S. Army announced on Wednesday.
The 15-vehicle family, which shares a common chassis and components, moves weapons, sensors and communication platforms for active, reserve and National Guard soldiers. The payloads range from three to 10 tons in combat mission support, relief efforts, logistics and supply operations.
FMTVs went into service in 1996 to replace the 2.5-ton "deuce-and-a-half" and 5-ton trucks. Stewart & Stevenson, which later was acquired by BAE Systems, built the original vehicles.
"We are pleased to have been selected for this opportunity to continue to ensure that our troops get the best possible equipment to complete their missions, and return home safely," Pat Williams, vice president and general manager of Army and Marine Corps Programs at Oshkosh Defense, said in a statement.
"With the Oshkosh FMTV A2, our troops are getting the safest, most capable and reliable FMTV this program has ever seen. We are fully prepared to build the next generation fleet of exceptional, cost-effective FMTVs to serve our troops in future missions."
Oshkosh Defense has delivered more than 36,000 FMTV trucks and trailers since being awarded the contract in 2009. In all, Oshkosh Defense has manufactured and sustained more than 150,000 Tactical Wheeled Vehicles for the Pentagon and allied nations.
The Army asked vendors to propose changes to the truck's design, known as Engineering Change Proposals, along with a plan to produce new trucks.
"During recent conflicts, we added more protection to our medium trucks, which added weight, along with high-tech systems that require more power," said Alvin Bing, the Army's product director for medium tactical vehicles.
"That gave the crew the protection they needed and kept them connected to modern battlefield technology, but it also took away from how the vehicles were originally intended to perform. So we launched the A2 effort to restore the performance we had traded, while preparing the fleet to grow with tomorrow's Army."
The contacting activity was by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, Mich.