Wisconsin Company in the Hunt for Big Defense Contract


Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense is one of three companies competing to build the replacement for the U.S. military’s iconic Humvee. The winner could produce up to 55-thousand vehicles, and that’s not counting foreign sales.President John Urias says building the Humvee replacement means jobs and stability for a major employer in the state.

“We have a highly trained workforce which I believe will be sustained if we win that contract and you think about the suppliers we have,” he says.”We have a significant number of suppliers in the Wisconsin region as well.”

Oshkosh is scheduled to deliver 22 vehicles over the next 33 months. The Army and Marines will put them and the competition through the ringer and eventually decide who will win the contract, if it gets that far. Brad Curran is an analyst that follows the defense industry for Frost and Sullivan. He says belt-tightening in Washington could impact the contract.

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“It’s possible that the whole contract will be canceled,” he says.”Its possible that they’ll keep it but go with a smaller buy. Its possible they will keep the Humvee and keep up-armoring it. Its by no means set in stone that they will acquire all 55,000 vehicles the are asking for.”

Even making it this far in the selection process is an accomplishment.Curran says the Pentagon was impressed that Oshkosh delivered an armored vehicle for use in Afghanistan on budget and in a very short amount of time.