Oshkosh Wins $1B Military Contract


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May 6, 2009
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Company To Build Armored Troop Carriers

POSTED: 6:33 pm CDT July 1, 2009
UPDATED: 6:58 pm CDT July 1, 2009

MILWAUKEE -- A Wisconsin company is looking to hire workers after securing a $1 billion defense contract.The Oshkosh Corporation will build new all-terrain vehicles to serve in Afghanistan.

The company's stock soared 26 percent Wednesday because of the news.

The new troop-carrier is called a Mine-Resistant Armor-Protected vehicle or MRAP. It weighs 25,000 pounds and costs $500,000 to build, but its armor plating will protect American troops.

Oshkosh won the contract Tuesday and will build at least 2,000 MRAPs for the military.

The company's chief executive officer, Robert Bohn, called the move a historic win for the company. He said the contract will lead to the hiring and re-hiring of hundreds of laid-off workers in Pennsylvania.

"And if you take a look at the trickle-down effect on the community, and of the supplier base, engines, transmissions, rims, sub-assemblies -- this will be good for the community," Bohn said.

This contract award really represents a winning of a race against time for Oshkosh as well.

The company only started the design in November, and had to have a prototype ready by March so it could be put to the test.

"This is a great shot in the arm, and this will get us through the recession. We're just proud that we'll be able to build these vehicles for the troops in Afghanistan," Bohn said.

The armor plating extends underneath, protecting not only the troops from a blast, but also the engine and transmission.

The military's new ride doesn't come with a stereo, but it does have air conditioning and a fire-suppression system.

Bohn said that as much as the MRAP will mean to the troops, it will mean just as much to the community.

"To win something like this and to be able to hire people and put people in other states that we have back to work, this is a great feeling," Bohn said.

Oshkosh said it will have a better idea in the next few days how many new jobs this contract will create. It could eventually include as many as 10,000 MRAPs.

Oshkosh Wins $1B Military Contract - Money News Story - WISN Milwaukee

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