The Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract for $601 million to refurbish some of its heavy infantry vehicles.

Through a public-private partnership with the Army’s Red River Army Depot, BAE will repair and upgrade 606 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. This process, known in the military as reset, mitigates the effect of combat use, replaces battle-damaged vehicles and provides the military with vehicles in pre-deployment conditions.

“The Bradley plays an integral role in the Army’s Heavy Brigade Combat Teams,” Joe McCarthy, vice president and general manager, HBCT Systems, said. “By resetting these vehicles to pre-deployment condition, we will make sure that our troops are able to continue to execute the mission.”

Under this award, BAE will reset 346 Bradley A3 vehicles, 141 A2 ODS vehicles and 119 A2 ODS SA vehicles.

Initial disassembly and subsystem rebuild will be performed at the Red River Army Depot, with final disassembly and structural modifications completed by BAE in Fayette County, Pa. Final assembly, integration and testing will be conducted at the company’s facility in York, Pa.

During final assembly in York, Bradley vehicles will also be equipped with upgrades including Improvised Explosive Device Armor, Bradley Urban Survivability Kits and other engineering changes designed to improve protection for soldiers.

“I am pleased to learn that the Army continues to turn to the Commonwealth to repair and upgrade the Bradley Fighting Vehicle,” Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) said in the statement. “This contract award is a testament to the skilled men and women employed at the York and Fayette BAE Systems facilities and will be a strong boon to their economies by sustaining hundreds of high-paying jobs.”

Work on the contract begins immediately. This summer, BAE will start deliveries of completed vehicles, with final deliveries expected to be completed by March 2010.

The Army’s TACOM Life Cycle Management Command manages the contract.

BAE manufactures the Bradley Combat Systems, which fill critical mission roles–infantry fighting vehicle, cavalry fighting vehicle, fire support vehicle, battle command vehicle and engineer squad vehicle–for Army Heavy Brigade Combat Teams.