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Army orders more MRAP-ATVs from JLG's parent firm

Contracts continue to buoy struggling company

Contracts continue to buoy struggling company

September 16, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. -- The U.S. Army has ordered more tactical vehicles from JLG Inc.'s parent company, boosting work at the rebounding McConnellsburg plant, Oshkosh Corp. said Monday in a news release.

Wisconsin-based Oshkosh has received a second contract extension from the Pentagon, valued at $189 million, to build an additional 352 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles (MRAP-ATVs) for the war in Afghanistan, the release said.

The Department of Defense contracted with Oshkosh on June 30 to build 2,244 of the vehicles by the end of the year. In early August, it extended the contract to February 2010, ordering an additional 1,700 vehicles, Oshkosh said earlier.

The latest contract will further extend the deadline for producing the ATVs to March 2010 and increase the order to 4,296 total vehicles, Oshkosh CEO Robert G. Bohn said.

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Valued at $2.3 billion, the contracts continue to buoy the struggling JLG, which had reduced its work force 50 percent by mid-summer of 2009, company president Craig Paylor said.

JLG spokesman Jeff Ford said most of the employees needed to fill the original contract were recalled to Pennsylvania plants, however, facilities in Ohio, Texas and California also saw an increase in employees.

JLG planned to recall as many as 650 employees nationwide to fill the contract, he said.

The exact number recalled to the McConnellsburg plant was not available.

The contract extensions are not expected to add more than the original 650 recalled jobs, however they will provide those employees with more work, Ford said.

By mid-August, the company had recalled 200 employees nationwide, Paylor said.

While the company has begun accelerating production of the vehicles to 1,000 per month, only the first round of vehicles has been shipped for testing, Oshkosh said in Monday's news release.

"We have delivered more than 100 M-ATVs through August, meeting our planned delivery requirements and we continue to increase vehicle output at our manufacturing facilities to remain on schedule and meet our customer's requirements," Bohn said.

Oshkosh CEO Charles Szews said previously that the first vehicle should be on the ground in Afghanistan in October.

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