Last Updated Jan 6, 2010 6:09 PM EST
Navistar (NAV) announced that Israel will purchase several tactical vehicles from them. The Israeli military will buy over a hundred of the vehicles worth about $12 million. Israel has been investing in several different vehicles to use to patrol their borders with the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) remain a potent threat and these vehicles are designed to minimize their effect.
When the U.S. began ramping up buys of MRAP vehicles for use in Iraq and Afghanistan about five years ago Navistar had been one of the major providers. Now that the threat in Iraq has been reduced and troops there are being drawn down the major area of operations is Afghanistan. The U.S. decided to buy a lighter, more maneuverable system leading to the MRAP-ATV contest. It was originally thought that several of the offered designs might be purchased but in the end the U.S. went only with Oshkosh. This left Navistar and BAE Systems among other companies without any remaining major production contracts for the U.S.
Navistar was also able to sell to Britain some of a similar vehicle to support their operations. England has been investing in armored transport and protective vehicles steadily over the last few years and is expected to buy more. Part of this is due to the poor mechanical performance of some of the systems it has purchased. This could mean further sales to Navistar or other companies of modern MRAP-ATV designs.
Overall if a company is able to find other buyers for systems like these that were originally planned for another customer it only aids their bottom line and performance. The world's defense market is certainly large enough to support a variety of companies especially as there are countries who do not want to go through a development process but buy off-the-shelf systems that while they may not be the most advanced technology are more then sufficient for their needs.