Navistar Goes Lighter, Offers Two Vehicles to International Market
PARIS — Navistar rolled out two new vehicles for the international market this week. It introduced variants of its Saratoga, which the company has submitted to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in consideration for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program, and an international variant of its submission to the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for its Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV 1.1). Company officials said that Navistar formally submitted the GMV vehicle on June 12 and that USSOCOM has already tested an early model and approved its participation in the effort.
The Saratoga, the GMV and their international models represent a new direction for the company. Since Navistar is largely known in military circles for its MAXXPro MRAP, these new vehicles now place the company in the light and medium vehicle marketplace and diversify the truck maker’s offerings across the spectrum of future conflict, said Pat MacArevey, vice president of government business.
Jim Grooms, the company’s director for fleet support, said that the company has made the shift in order to better align itself with where it sees the market heading. “There was a time where everyone thought that blast protection required increasingly bigger, heavier vehicles,” he said. But armor technology has advanced so quickly in recent years that the company is able to offer MRAP-like protection on vehicles like the Saratoga, with a curb weight of about 14,000 lbs., as opposed to the 40,000-lbs. to 50,000-lbs. MRAPs.
The company has also already sold roughly 400 MXT armored personnel carriers to the U.K. that are deployed in Afghanistan, but it is looking to enter the international military vehicle market in a bigger way. “The international GMV is ready for export,” Grooms said. The MXT has recently been sold to an unnamed Canadian police force as well, and the company is showcasing a S.W.A.T variant of the vehicle at its display.
Like several other companies such as Oshkosh, Navistar officials also say that they’re interested in pursuing the Canadian Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) program, which has been delayed several times. Grooms said that the company is interested in submitting its ATX 8×8 logistics truck to the Canadians once the program starts back up.