MTS Systems Corporation (Nasdaq: MTSC) announced today that it has received a contract for the first phase of what is expected to be a $37-million contract from the U.S. Army. The contract is for the design, development, manufacture, and installation of an advanced roadway simulator at the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. This is the largest single order, in terms of total contract value, ever received by MTS.

The roadway simulator will be used to test military trucks and other vehicles for performance and durability. The company has received the first $12.8 million of the contract for the design, development, manufacture, and installation of phase one of the project. The remaining funding is expected during 2001 and 2002.

"The ATC roadway simulator is an extension of a technology already used widely in the auto industry," said Carl Larsen, Program Manager at MTS. "Automakers use smaller roadway systems to test the performance and durability of passenger cars. The simulator at ATC will allow truck and trailer designers to benefit from the same kind of technology. This is a unique system, designed specifically for trucks and trailers and will be used to test both military and commercial vehicles."

"The practical benefit of this simulator is that it will allow the Army to conduct much more exhaustive and reliable tests, at a lower cost and in a much shorter time, than any other current technology would allow," said U.S. Congressman Martin Sabo (D-MN). Sabo was instrumental in advancing the project through Congress.

"Use of the simulator will enable more complete testing to be conducted during early design and throughout the development of major truck and wheeled-vehicle systems," explained Greg Schultz, Senior Automotive Test Engineer at the Aberdeen Test Center.

"It will provide engineers with critical information much earlier than previously possible, which will produce considerable cost savings. We also expect to receive a wealth of new information about the dynamics of vehicle behavior that will lead to unprecedented advances in military vehicle mobility."

The roadway simulator program includes three phases. The initial installation will be capable of testing two-axle vehicles weighing up to 26,000 lbs. Phase two of the project will extend the simulator's capabilities to include three-axle vehicles up to 60,000 lbs. Phase three further extends the capability to include the testing of truck-trailer combinations up to 80,000 lbs.

MTS Systems Corporation manufactures computer-based testing and simulation systems for determining the mechanical behavior of materials, vehicles, and structures, and measurement and control instrumentation products for the automation of manufacturing processes. The corporation had 2,400 employees worldwide and revenues of $390 million in the fiscal year ending September 1999. More information about MTS is available on the worldwide web at http://www.mts.com