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Navistar Gets $348 Million Order For 1,928 Military Trucks

By Bob Tita Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES CHICAGO -(Dow Jones)- Navistar International Corp. (NAV), which has been on the losing end of recent high-profile competitions for U.S. military-truck contracts, on Monday said it received orders to build 1,928 troop transport trucks. The latest order, which is worth $348 million, will bring the total number of medium-sized tactical vehicles supplied by Navistar since May 2008 to 7,577 trucks. Deliveries will be completed by December 2010. The trucks will be used by U.S. troops and Afghan government forces, a Navistar spokeswoman said. The vehicles are adaptable for a variety of uses, including as wreckers, petroleum transporters and water-tanker trucks. The Warrenville, Ill., truck and engine maker also said Monday it received a $78 million contract to provide engineering and parts to retrofit its mine-resistant ambush-protected patrol trucks for use in Afghanistan's rugged terrain. The trucks, known as MRAPs, were developed to counter roadside bombs in Iraq. But the heavily armored vehicles have been plagued by performance problems in Afghanistan, where roads are often unpaved. The $78 million support contract will supply kits and components, included more rugged suspension systems, to adapt the MRAPs for Afghanistan. Navistar was the leading manufacturer of MRAPs for use in Iraq. Retrofitting the trucks for service in Afghanistan is expected to be growing source of revenue for the company in the coming months. This summer, Navistar failed to win a Defense Department contract to build a new all-terrain patrol truck for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp. (OSK) was selected to build the trucks. Navistar also lost to Oshkosh on a $2 billion contract to build the Army's ubiquitous Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. Navistar and BAE Systems PLC (BAESY, BA.LN), which has been manufacturing the trucks for more than 15 years and which also bid on the U.S. FMTV contract, have filed protests over the Pentagon's selection of Oshkosh. Navistar's stock was recently up 3.6% at $35.79 a share. -By Bob Tita, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-750-4129;

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