Ceradyne and Ideal Innovations (I3) are teaming with Oshkosh Truck Corp. to provide a truck chassis for the Bull armored vehicle. Ceradyne and I3 developed the Bull addressing the more demanding protection requirements to be addressed by MRAP II vehicles.
The Bull advanced technology armored solution, conceived by I-3 in 2005 and developed with Ceradyne in 2006, has been tested by the Army Test Center, Aberdeen, Md., and demonstrated to be capable of protecting vehicle occupants against Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFP) and mine blast threats. It is designed to meet current IED threats, and is intended to withstand the increasingly prevalent and higher EFP threats now faced by the U.S. military. According to the teaming agreement, the vehicles will be built on a combat-proven Oshkosh Truck chassis.
With its main competitors, International Engines and Trucks and Armor Holding's Stewart & Stevenson contracted to produce hundreds of MRAPs, Oshkosh was left behind with a relatively small involvement in one of the Pentagon's largest acquisition programs in recent years. Oshkosh received a production order for about 100 Alpha MRAPs, and is also involved in the production and support of 60 Golan vehicles, both built under cooperation with PVI. The new agreement is promising Oshkosh a bigger share of what is considered now to be the next phase of the MRAP program, which will involve even larger production series of better protected vehicles.
Joel P. Moskowitz, chief executive officer for Ceradyne, said that the proven chassis, combined with the Bull’s special armor, will provide "a highly survivable mobile armored vehicle that will serve our military well.” Even after undergoing an attack, the Bull is expected to maintain substantial off-road mobility, which makes it an ideal vehicle for multiple uses in theater such as troop transport, ambulatory rescue and cargo delivery. Oshkosh Truck, Ceradyne and I-3 are finalizing plans for platform options and supply of critical components. The three companies intend to offer platform options that improve on current vehicle capabilities as solutions for the Department of Defense in the near future.
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