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From an oversight perspective, Polaris Defense’s current portfolio has its focus on completing contracts, sustaining legacy fleets and as significant, casting its business development eye on some quickly emerging US DoD programmes.

In one instance, the Medina, Minnesota-based company is completing deliveries of MRZR 2 and MRZR 4 vehicles – along with contractor logistics support for spares, training and support – in the fifth and final year of a contract supporting USSOCOM’s light tactical all-terrain vehicle (LTATV) programme. Nick Francis, Director, Polaris Defense, noted he was unable to divulge the final number of vehicles to be delivered under this contract.

Part of the buzz on the conference floor at this event was USSOCOM’s stated intentions to award a contract for 810 vehicles to support the command’s next generation LTATV requirement. Details from the draft request for proposal for the new LTATV emphasize a higher payload, modularity and other capabilities.

Mr Francis also confirmed Polaris Defense is teaming with SAIC to compete for the award by US Army for a lightweight expeditionary all-terrain vehicle (Infantry Squad Vehicle, or ISV) that can pack a nine-man squad and associated combat equipment. The Army is seeking to procure nearly 651 of the highly mobile lightweight vehicles spanning fiscal years 2020 to 2024.

With regard to US Marine Corps, another long-term company customer, Polaris has delivered all vehicles on contract for the Utility Task Vehicle programme, and has transitioned to the sustainment phase. As significant, “From what we seen so far, the new Marine Corps Ultralight Tactical Vehicle is certainly within our space,” the Polaris Defense executive pointed out. From this new programme, the service wants a highly mobile all-terrain light tactical vehicle capable of transporting wounded Marines off the battlefield, easily configurable to support missions like electronic warfare, and internally transportable by CH-53 and MV-22.

The request for proposal for this programme is expected to be issued in fourth quarter 2019. “We’re following this very closely,” Mr Francis concluded.

As SOFIC opened its doors this week, Polaris Defense had significant activity beyond the US – with vehicles in service in 35 nations.

Marty Kauchak

Polaris Defense vehicles are in use around the globe, including with US Marines during the above humanitarian mission. (Photo: USMC/Lance Cpl. Hannah Hall)

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