The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) has awarded Freightliner LLC a seven-year contract to build almost 3,400 vehicles. Under terms of the agreement, Freightliner will provide TACOM with M915A3 line haul tractors, M916A3 light equipment transporters and M917A2 dump trucks, as well as training, logistics provisioning support and interactive electronic technical manuals. The contract is valued at just under $400 million; production begins in 2001.

"We are honored the Army has chosen to maintain its strong partnership with Freightliner with this new contract award," Freightliner President and CEO James L. Hebe said. "The newest generation of trucks which the Army will procure represent the latest proven commercial trucking technologies and will assist our servicemen and servicewomen in performing their very important duties around the world."

Freightliner has provided vehicles to the military since 1989. The Army's current fleet of linehaul tractors and trucks is based upon Freightliner's very successful commercial FLD120 tractor, which has sales exceeding 330,000 since its 1988 introduction. Freightliner's military trucks have enjoyed a reputation for high fuel efficiency, low operating costs, and extremely high field operational readiness rates.

Specifications on the new vehicles include Detroit Diesel Series 60 engines, Allison World transmissions, anti-lock brakes, Eaton-VORAD collision warning systems, tilt/adjustable steering columns, air conditioning and TufTrac heavy-duty suspensions.

"The Army trucks are optimized for performance, uptime, low maintenance and safety," Hebe said. "Wherever these trucks deploy in the world, they will be backed and supported by the worldwide support network of Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz dealers."

Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the leading heavy truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner produces and markets Class 3-8 trucks under the Freightliner, Sterling, American LaFrance and Thomas Built Buses nameplates and is a DaimlerChrysler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.