Meritor will continue supply of ProTec high mobility independent suspension (HMIS) to Lockheed Martin for integration into the latter's proposed vehicle for the US Army and Marine Corps' Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) programme.
Lockheed has recently secured a $66.3m JLTV engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase contract for delivery of a vehicle engineered to offer enhanced payload, performance and protection to troops on the battlefield.
Meritor Defense sales and business development director Dave Damian said: "With more than 100,000 miles of testing, the performance of the ProTec HMIS has been proven during the technology development phase of the JLTV programme."
Developed specifically for the JLTV programme in 2005, the ProTec Series 30 HMIS is an advanced technology solution designed to provide improved off-road manoeuvrability and premium ride quality for medium tactical wheeled vehicles and armoured personnel carriers with reduced lifecycle costs.
Suitable for applications that require gross axle weight ratings (GAWRs) of up to 14,000lbs to handle the rough terrain of combat zones, the suspension also features an optional limited-slip differential, no-spin differential and driver-controlled differential lock to further improve performance.
The modular architecture of the ProTec Series 30 HMIS allows addition of armour protection, such as suspension height control, active damping, electronic differential lock controls and electronic stability control.
In addition, the suspension has also been integrated into high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs), as well as several other combat vehicles in Afghanistan.
As part of the 27-month EMD contract, Lockheed is scheduled to deliver 22 vehicle prototypes to armed forces in the next 12 to 14 months, and will also support their testing and evaluation process.
The JLTV contract award, expected in late 2015 or early 2016, is aimed at replacing the US armed forces' ageing fleet of high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs), which have been in active service for more than 25 years.