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updated: 8/24/2012 10:19 AM

Navistar loses combat vehicle contract to Wisconsin firm

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Associated Press

Lisle-based military vehicle builder Navistar Defense lost out on a bid to build a prototype combat vehicle for the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Defense Department chose Oshkosh Defense, AM General LLC and Lockheed Martin over Navistar and two others to build a prototype vehicle that will replace the military's Humvee for U.S. ground forces, according to Nasdaq news service. The prototypes are lighter and have improved technology and protective gear.
Oshkosh Defense will initially get $56 million to build 22 vehicles and deliver them within one year. The government will test versions of the vehicle over the next 15 months and decide which company will get the contract.
Navistar, in hopes of landing the contract, had built a prototype based on its lightweight Saratoga utility vehicle at the company's expense. Navistar Defense President Archie Massicotte told Nasdaq the company is " disappointed" it wasn't selected by the Defense department, but said they would look to market a modified version of the vehicle to foreign militaries.
"We believe it is appealing to nations facing uncertain futures and limited budgets," Massicotte told Nasdaq said in a written statement.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports that if Oshkosh Defense is chosen, it could mean roughly $13.75 billion in Defense Department contracts for the Wisconsin-based truck manufacturer..

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