More Than a Midcycle Refresh
Up until recently, medium-sized trucks, by and large, tended to stay in production for long periods of time with minor modifications along the way. In some cases, things went on the same for REALLY long periods of time. Consider the Ford Ranger, which, comparatively speaking, underwent few significant changes (and by way of comparison, we could take the Ford F-150 during this same timeframe) from1982 until it went out of production in 2011. (Some people joked that the tooling simply wore out.)
This came to mind when I spotted a piece indicating that Oshkosh Defense received a production contract from the U.S. Army in June 2009 for its Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) all-terrain vehicles (M-ATVs). Oshkosh is signed to provide lifecycle services and support through July 2018.
Unlike medium-sized trucks, these MRAPs (notably, Oshkosh produced more than 8,700 of them in quick order to provide support for the troops) undergo more than potholes and heavy loads. People try to blow them up.
So Oshkosh has a process in place to upgrade and maintain these vehicles.
They have received a contract valued at more than $77-million to “reset” 800 of the MRAPs they produced.
A given vehicle is inspected then repaired, which might include replacing missing parts.
In addition to which, they provide upgrades, or updates, to keep the vehicles up-to-date. For example, there are a underbody improvement kit and an upgraded automatic fire extinguishing system.
So, like a medium-sized truck the M-ATV may look pretty much similar, but unlike a truck, it is kept battle-ready and relevant with significant tech.