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Army places $40 million order to upgrade large tactical trucks

Two M984 HEMTT wreckers at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan (Marcusroos)
January 04, 2018

The U.S. Army has announced that it will be investing $40 million into upgrading a fleet of 90 vehicles, according to Fox 11 News.

Oshkosh Defense has been chosen to take on this project, which consists of updating and rebuilding the branch’s older model Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT). After the upgrade, the older vehicles will have all the features and functionalities that are found on newer versions of the trucks.

Fox 11 News has reported that Pat Williams, who serves as Oshkosh Defense’s Vice President and General Manager of Army and Marine Corps programs, said: “Our recapitalization services offer significant cost savings to the Army Reserves by returning vintage vehicles to current operational readiness with the same performance and life cycle cost advantages of a new vehicle.”

“Recapitalized vehicles are assembled on the same production line as new vehicles, and put through the same extensive performance tests and inspection procedures as new vehicles,” he continued. “As the original equipment manufacturer, Oshkosh can modernize these vehicles to the latest configuration and quickly return them to operations.”

According to Military.com, HEMTTs were first introduced in 1985 and “are the backbone of the US Army’s logistics fleet.”

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Some of the main benefits of the truck include its ability to take on huge payloads and its off-road capabilities. It replaced an inferior fleet of trucks from the Vietnam-era with a variety of modern upgrades. The HEMTTs are equipped to be driven in all environments, which may include on a rural battlefield or smooth city streets.

More 27,000 examples of the vehicle have been built since its launch, and Oshkosh has produced them in 11 variants and six configurations. The trucks can be configured for cargo, tanker, tractor and wrecker. The HEMTTs weigh in at 10 tons and are supported by eight large rugged wheels.

The trucks can seat two people in the forward control cab, and the vehicle is constructed from heavy-duty steel construction with Grade 8 bolts. The outside of the HEMTTs is covered in sheet metal skins that are corrosion-resistant. Around 20 percent of the trucks that are produced come equipped with a winch system that is centrally mounted, which can be used for self-recovery, according to Revolvy.

The original price of the HEMTT is around $250,000, which explains why the U.S. Army has decided to recapitalize the trucks through Oshkosh instead of retiring them. The HEMTT Recapitalization Program was started by Oshkosh and the U.S. Army in 2001, with 621 of them being receiving the program’s treatment by 2003.