BEIRUT — Oshkosh Defense has won a $16.7 million contract to provide three types of Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks as well as Heavy Equipment Transporters to Lebanon, Iraq and Malaysia.
The contract for the M1120A4, M977A4 and M978A4 HEMTTs as well as the M1070A1 HETs is a part of the U.S. Defense Department’s Foreign Military Sales program. The deal was announced Sept. 22, and its estimated completion date is Jan. 31, 2022. Oshkosh was the only bidder.
M1120A4′s load-handling system is capable of transporting 11 tons; M977A4 has a 10-ton payload capacity; the fuel-servicing M978A4 tanker can transport 2,500 gallons of fuel; and the M1070A1 tank transporter has a 75-ton maximum payload.
“These Low loaders are expected to be added to the transportation regiment in the Lebanese armed forces, whereby vehicles with similar capabilities are centralized at the same site to facilitate maintenance and professional training, and will be dispatched for tactical use only,” retired Lebanese Army Brig. Gen. Maroun Hitti, who served as the director of operations and the deputy chief of staff for planning, told Defense News.
He said the deal will see 80 trucks delivered to the three countries, each of which has an approximate value of $200,000. (The remaining money is to go toward maintenance costs.)
Hitti said that, amid Lebanon’s economic crisis, the trucks are expected to tremendously reduce the cost of transportation, while increasing military mobility.
Aram Nerguizian, senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Defense News that the initial delivery to Lebanon is for 23 HEMTTS (10 M977A4s and 13 M978A4s).
“These 23 trucks to the LAF [Lebanese Armed Forces] are part of a larger purchase of modern transportation systems using U.S. funding,” he said, explaining that this is part of a much larger $40 million acquisition by the military of more than 160 trucks.
The military “is using Section 333 to procure 50 2.5-ton trucks, and 50 5-ton trucks,” he said, referring to a U.S. government authority used to build the capacity of partner nations. “Additional 70 5-ton trucks are to be contracted under [the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Military Financing program] by the LAF.”
A retired brigadier of the Iraqi armed forces and a defense expert, Adnan Al Kenany, told Defense News that the trucks headed to the country will serve as additional transportation capabilities for the services. It’s unclear how many vehicles the country is to receive.
“Iraq directorate of orientation and provision has a number of heavy transportation trucks that exceeds 250 trucks, including trucks from Russia and others from France. These trucks will transport heavy armored vehicles, usually within the country to operate or perform maneuvers in places that are 300-400 kilometers away including the borders,” Al Kenany said.
Defense News contacted a Malaysian military source, but the individual was unaware how many vehicles are bound for the country under the latest sale.
Mike Yeo in Melbourne, Australia, contributed to this report.
Agnes Helou is a Middle East correspondent for Defense News. Her interests include missile defense, cybersecurity, the interoperability of weapons systems and strategic issues in the Middle East and Gulf region.