The international market for wheeled tactical trucks has once again rewarded AM General, this time with $2.2 billion deal to sell thousands of Humvees to allies and partners around the world.
Announced Aug. 29, the deal adds another major win to a litany of Humvee sales the company has racked up since the U.S. Army turned it down to build the truck’s replacement. Oshkosh Defense holds the contract to build tens of thousands of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) to replace of portion of the Army and Marine Corps legacy wheeled vehicle fleets. Oskhkosh Defense is part of Oshkosh[OSK].
Under the new deal, overseen by Army Contracting Command and the State Department through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, AM General will build nearly 12,000 Humvees over a five-year period.
The work will be for various FMS customers worldwide, which will be identified with each order, according to the Army. The first order is for Afghanistan.
“The HMMWV continues to be the most sought after light tactical vehicle for military and government customers around the world demonstrating its relevance and reliability while ensuring readiness at an affordable price for the U.S., our allies and coalition partners,” AM General President and Chief Executive Andy Hove said in a statement. “Today’s contract announcement once again highlights the HMMWV as a modern, proven, highly deployable, versatile, rugged and affordable light tactical vehicle.”
AM General will provide countries with several vehicle variants including protected weapons carriers, cargo transporters, communications vehicles and ambulances. There are more than 250,000 Humvees already fielded in 60-plus nations, according to the company.
Since Oshkosh knocked out AM General, a privately held company that enjoyed a decades-long incumbency building Humvees for the military, the South Bend, Indiana, company has not shrunk from marketing the legacy Humvee to foreign countries.
In last half of 2015 alone, AM General accumulated $900 million in new Humvee sales and sustainment contracts with the Army, Marine Corps and foreign militaries. It then turned around and in August 2016 brought home a $356 million contract to build 1,673 of the trucks in two variants for the Afghan National Army and Police.
The company also continues to refurbish old Humvees – officially called the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) through a public/private partnership with the National Guard and Red River Army Depot that has generated $200 million in work and was funneled an additional $160 million in fiscal year 2016.
The Army is buying JLTVs because the thin-skinned Humvees it took to war 15 years ago were no match for roadside bombs and had to be up-armored, adding substantial weight that sacrificed mobility and caused them to wear out. AM General has consistently updated the truck’s design, however. Customers of modern Humvees are not getting the same truck the Army is replacing, but one with significant improvements.
Modern Humvees come with a high performance, rugged and reliable automotive system that provides a 70 percent increase in torque to the engine, additional transmission overdrive combined with a two-speed full time all-wheel drive transfer case, an improved cooling system, and an electrical system with a 400 percent increase in power generation capacity.
New-built Humvees also sport improved suspension and chassis that can accommodate 50 percent more gross vehicle weight capacity and added blast protection, according to the company.
AM General continues to design, test and build these improvements into the ambulances it still manufactures for the U.S. Army and into the National Guard’s Humvee modernization program, and even more enhancements are available to meet U.S. domestic and international customer needs, the company said.